Delhi excise policy scam: Kejriwal to remain in judicial custody till April 15

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal being produced at the Rouse Avenue Court, in New Delhi. File Photo: Screengrab/PTI

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Monday remanded the Aam Aadmi national convenor Arvind Kejriwal to judicial custody till April 15 in a money-laundering case linked to the alleged excise policy scam. 
The Delhi Chief Minister was produced in the court on the expiry of his Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody.

Special CBI judge Kaveri Baweja of the Rouse Avenue Courts passed the order after ED did not seek further remand. "We are asking for judicial custody, subject to the right of asking further custody as per SC judgment in Senthil Balaji case," ED Counsel said.

Kejriwal was arrested on March 21 from his residence and subsequently remanded to the ED custody till March 28 by the Delhi Rouse Avenue Court. However, the probe agency then obtained an extension of his custody till April 1.

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Special CBI judge Kaveri Baweja of the Rouse Avenue Courts passed the order after ED did not seek further remand. photo: File/ Manorama Online.

About the Case
Kejriwal had skipped nine summons issued to him by ED. Aam Aadmi Party leaders Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh are also accused in the case and are presently in judicial custody.

Following his arrest, Kejriwal promptly moved an urgent petition before the Supreme Court challenging his arrest. However, the same was withdrawn later.

Moreover, he has previously moved the Delhi High Court (division bench) challenging the summons issued to him by the central probe agency. He has also filed an application seeking interim protection. The matter is fixed for a hearing on April 22.

Earlier, ED had filed two criminal complaints against Kejriwal in the city's Rouse Avenue Courts alleging non-compliance with the summons by him. Kejriwal has skipped the summons, claiming that they are illegal.

Recently, the Delhi High Court declined any interim relief to Kejriwal and only issued notice on his plea challenging the arrest and remand. ED has alleged that Arvind Kejriwal is the "kingpin" of the Delhi excise scam and is directly involved in the use of proceeds of crime accounting for over Rs. 100 crores.

It is ED's case that the excise policy was implemented as part of a conspiracy to give wholesale business profit of 12 per cent to certain private companies, although such a stipulation was not mentioned in the minutes of meetings of the Group of Ministers (GoM).

The Central agency has also claimed that there was a conspiracy that was coordinated by Vijay Nair and other individuals along with South Group to give extraordinary profit margins to wholesalers. Nair was acting on behalf of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia, according to the agency.

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