Arvind Kejriwal 'kingpin', 'key conspirator' in excise scam: ED tells Delhi HC

Delhi Chief Minister and AAP Convenor Arvind Kejriwal arrives to appear before the Rouse Avenue Court in the excise policy-linked money laundering case, in New Delhi, Monday, April 1, 2024.
Delhi Chief Minister and AAP Convenor Arvind Kejriwal arrives to appear before the Rouse Avenue Court in the excise policy-linked money laundering case, in New Delhi, Monday, April 1, 2024.

New Delhi | The ED on Tuesday told the Delhi High Court that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was the "kingpin" and the "key conspirator" of the "excise scam".

The federal agency opposed the AAP convener's petition challenging his arrest in the related money laundering case.

In its reply filed to the petition, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said there were "reasons to believe on the basis of material in possession" that Kejriwal was "guilty of the offence of money laundering".

"Sh Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister of NCT of Delhi, is the kingpin and key conspirator of the Delhi Excise Scam in collusion with Ministers of Delhi Govt, AAP leaders and other persons.. Sh Arvind Kejriwal was directly involved in the formulation of the Excise Policy 2021-22.

"This policy was being drafted considering the favours to be granted to the South Group and was formed in collusion with Sh Vijay Nair, Sh Manish Sisodia and members representatives of the South Group," said the response.

Kejriwal is involved in the use of proceeds of crime thus generated in the Goa election campaign of the AAP of which he is the convenor and the ultimate decision-maker, it added.

The petition is listed for hearing before Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma on Wednesday.

On March 27, the high court had refused to grant interim relief to Kejriwal, saying the matter raised important issues that cannot be "summarily" decided without seeking the agency's stand and had asked the ED to file its reply to the challenge to his arrest and the subsequent remand to the ED's custody.

In the reply, the ED further said after filing of the present petition, the petitioner was further remanded to its custody vide a well-reasoned and detailed remand order till April 1 when he was subsequently sent to judicial custody by the trial court, which was not opposed by his counsel.

"In light of the above submission made by the petitioner before the Ld. Special Court, PMLA that he has no objection to the custody/ remand being extended further, the petitioner has waived his right to question his custody as on today and the petitioner cannot now be allowed to argue that his custody as on today is illegal," the response added.

Kejriwal, who was arrested on March 21, has sought his release on the ground that the arrest was illegal.

The case pertains to the alleged corruption and money laundering in formulating and executing the Delhi government's excise policy for 2021-22 that was later scrapped.

Kejriwal speaks to wife, meets lawyer in Tihar jail

New Delh | Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was on Tuesday allowed to talk to his wife Sunita through video conference and he also met his lawyer in person in the Tihar jail, officials said.

Kejriwal, who is lodged in jail number 2 of the Tihar prison, was on Monday remanded to judicial custody till April 15 in a money laundering case linked to the alleged excise policy scam.

He was also allowed to have home-cooked food in the afternoon, a jail official said.

According to the officials, the AAP national convener talked to his wife and one more family member through video conference (VC) for about half-an-hour from the jail. The VC was arranged between 1.30 pm and 2 pm by jail authorities.

As per the jail rules, an inmate can meet three people at one time, twice a week. This meeting could be done via VC or physical. The names of persons should be given to jail authorities before the meeting.

Kejriwal has given a list of six people whom he would like to meet as per rules. The list includes his wife Sunita, their son and daughter, his private secretary Bibhav Kumar and AAP general secretary (organisation) Sandeep Pathak.

At about 3 pm, he also met with his lawyer and signed some documents. This meeting went for a few minutes, jail sources said.

Earlier in the morning, the Delhi CM did yoga and meditation in his cell.

The officials said the home-cooked food brought by a person (whose name was given by Kejriwal's lawyer to the jail authorities) was served after proper checking in the afternoon. In the evening, the same person brought the dinner for the AAP leader, they said.

In the morning, Kejriwal's sugar level was low and he is under the watch of Tihar jail doctors as his sugar level kept fluctuating, the officials said.

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