29 Jun 2024

Delhi Liquor Policy Case: Arvind Kejriwal Sent to Judicial Custody till July 12, See Details

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been remanded to 14 days of judicial custody till July 12 in connection with the Delhi liquor policy case, which is under investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The CBI asserted that Kejriwal's custody is necessary for the "interest of investigation and justice."

Earlier in the day, special judge Sunena Sharma reserved the order after Kejriwal was brought to court following the conclusion of his three-day CBI custody. In their remand application, the CBI accused Kejriwal of non-cooperation and providing evasive responses.

"Confronted with evidence, he failed to give a proper and truthful explanation regarding the enhancement of the profit margin for wholesalers from 5% to 12% under the new excise policy of Delhi 2021-22, without any study or justification," the CBI stated. 

"He also could not clarify why, during the peak of the second wave of Covid, the cabinet approval for the revised excise policy was obtained in a rushed manner within one day, coinciding with the presence of accused persons from the South Group in Delhi, who were meeting with his close associate Vijay Nair," the agency further said.

Kejriwal failed to explain his meetings: CBI 

The central agency further alleged that Kejriwal evaded questions about his associate Vijay Nair's meetings with stakeholders in the Delhi liquor business. Kejriwal also failed to adequately explain his meetings with Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy, Arjun Pandey, and Mootha Gautham, who are all accused in the case.

"Given his prominent position as a politician and Chief Minister of Delhi, Kejriwal is highly influential. There are credible reasons to believe that he might influence the witnesses and evidence already presented during custodial interrogation, as well as potential witnesses who are yet to be examined. He may tamper with evidence and hinder the ongoing investigation," the CBI's application stated.

Kejriwal was initially arrested by ED on March 21

Kejriwal was initially arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on March 21 on allegations of money laundering related to the framing of the Delhi liquor policy for 2021-22, which was later scrapped after concerns were raised by the Lieutenant Governor. The ED alleged that the money received from liquor sellers was used to fund the Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) campaign in Goa, with Mr. Kejriwal being the party's convenor.

From the outset, Kejriwal and the AAP have consistently claimed that the Centre has been misusing its agencies to target and harass the opposition with false cases.

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