Kejriwal sent to judicial custody in Tihar till April 15

Wednesday 03rd April 2024 08:04 EDT

A Delhi court on Monday remanded chief minister Arvind Kejriwal to judicial custody till April 15 in connection with the now-scrapped 2021-22 excise policy, making him the fourth prominent lawmaker from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to be lodged in Tihar Jail just three weeks before general elections.

The arguments before special judge Kaveri Baweja also shed light on the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) questioning and the role of Vijay Nair, a key figure in the case who allegedly played a significant role in facilitating allegedly illicit activities and connections within the liquor industry, and whether he reported to Delhi ministers Atishi and Saurabh Bharadwaj.

The judge noted ED’s contention that Kejriwal’s release could hamper the investigation as it moved an application to place Kejriwal under 15 days of judicial custody but added that it may seek additional custodial interrogation later.

“Since the investigation of the case is stated to be pending qua role of the arrestee, for unearthing the further proceeds of crime and identifying the other person who may be involved or connected with the above, the above named accused is remanded to judicial custody till 15.04.2024,” the court said in its order.

The CM was moved to ward No 4 in Tihar’s jail No 2 on Monday evening. Prison officials said he was allowed to carry several books along with a religious locket. He was also allowed home-cooked food.

AAP leaders Manish Sisodia, Sanjay Singh and Satyender Jain are currently in jail numbers 1, 7, and 5 respectively.

Kejriwal was arrested on March 21 by ED, hours after the Delhi high court denied his request for interim protection from arrest - a startling turn of events that left the Capital’s politics in turmoil and pushed to new heights the ongoing conflict between the Union government and the AAP. The party has insisted that Kejriwal will continue as CM and he has issued two orders from jail, sparking condemnation from the BJP.

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