Excise 'scam': Arvind Kejriwal's custody in money laundering case extended

Delhi Rouse Avenue court extends judicial custody of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal to 12 July

Arvind Kejriwal in custody (photo: PTI)
Arvind Kejriwal in custody (photo: PTI)

NH Digital

Delhi's Rouse Avenue court on Wednesday extended the judicial custody of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal to 12 July in a money-laundering case related to the now scrapped Delhi liquor excise policy 2021-22.

Counsel for Kejriwal mentioned the matter for urgent listing before a bench of acting chief justice Manmohan and justice Tushar Rao Gedela, which said the matter would be heard on Friday.

Advocate Rajat Bhardwaj, appearing for Kejriwal, asserted that the applicant was taken into illegal custody without following due procedure of law, and has filed a bail plea. “Have filed a bail application. Applicant was taken into illegal custody without complying with section 41," he said.

As the counsel insisted on fixing the plea for hearing on Thursday, justice Manmohan said, “Let the learned judge go through the papers. We will have it day after.”

The court also reserved its order on the application moved by Kejriwal seeking his wife's presence during the medical consultations with the special board constituted by AIIMS under the court's orders on 22 April.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener was arrested by the CBI on 26 June from Tihar Jail, where he is still lodged in judicial custody in a related money laundering case filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Meanwhile, sources said Kejriwal has also challenged a trial court’s 1 July order rejecting his application for directions to the prison authorities to allow two additional meetings every week with his lawyers through video conference. He is currently allowed two meetings with his lawyers per week.

He has already challenged his arrest in the CBI case and the plea is pending before the high court. The court had issued notice and asked the CBI to file its reply while listing it for arguments on 17 July.

Kejriwal, who was arrested by the ED on 21 March, was granted bail by the trial court in the money laundering case on 20 June. However, the trial court's order was stayed by the high court.

The excise policy was scrapped in 2022 after the Delhi lieutenant governor ordered a CBI probe into alleged irregularities and corruption involving its formulation and execution.

According to the CBI and ED, irregularities were committed while modifying the excise policy and undue favours extended to the licence holders.

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