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Arvind Kejriwal Sent To Judicial Custody

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been sent to jail for 14 days under judicial custody in the Delhi liquor policy case being probed by the Central Bureau Investigation (CBI). The CBI said it needs Mr Kejriwal’s custody in the “interest of investigation and justice”.

Earlier today, special judge Sunena Sharma had reserved the order Mr Kejriwal was brought to the court after his three-day CBI custody ended.

In its remand application, the CBI alleged Mr Kejriwal did not cooperate and gave evasive replies.

“On being confronted with the evidence, he did not give a proper and truthful explanation regarding the enhancement of the profit margin for wholesalers from 5 per cent to 12 per cent under the new excise policy of Delhi 2021-22, without any study or justification,” the CBI said.

“He also could not explain as to why during the peak of second wave of Covid, the cabinet approval for revised excise policy was obtained through circulation in a hurried manner within one day, when the accused persons of the South Group were camping in Delhi and holding meetings with his close associate Vijay Nair,” the CBI said.

The central agency alleged Mr Kejriwal evaded questions on meetings of his associate Vijay Nair with stakeholders of the liquor business in Delhi. Mr Kejriwal was unable to give a proper explanation about his meeting with Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy, and Arjun Pandey and Mootha Gautham, both accused in the case.

“He, being a prominent politician and chief minister of Delhi, is a very influential person, as such, there are credible reasons to believe that, he may influence the witnesses and evidences already exposed before him during the custodial interrogation and also the potential witnesses, who are yet to be examined, tamper with the evidence to be further collected and may hamper the ongoing investigation,” the CBI application said.

Mr Kejriwal was first arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on March 21 over money laundering allegations while framing the Delhi liquor policy for 2021-22, which was later scrapped after the Lieutenant Governor raised red flags. The ED has alleged the money Mr Kejriwal got from the liquor sellers was used to fund the party’s campaign in Goa, since he is the convenor of the AAP.

Mr Kejriwal and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) have from the start maintained the Centre has been misusing its agencies to harass the Opposition with false cases.

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