Kejriwal sent to Tihar jail till April 15; he said accused reported to Atishi, Bhardwaj: ED

English | 02 April, 2024 | 10:05 AM
સાંજ સમાચાર

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was taken to Tihar Jail on Monday afternoon, hours after a city court sent him to judicial custody till April 15.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED), which arrested Kejriwal on March 21 in connection with the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy case, sought 15 days judicial custody, saying that he was “totally uncooperative”, “evasive”, gave “misleading replies” and “concealed information” during his questioning.

Speaking to reporters before entering the courtroom, Kejriwal said: “Jo PM kar rahe hain woh desh ke liye achha nahi hai (whatever the PM is doing is not good for the country.” AAP ministers Atishi, Saurabh Bhardwaj, Gopal Rai, and Kejriwal’s wife, Sunita Kejriwal, were present in court.

In its remand application, the ED alleged that during his custodial interrogation, Kejriwal said AAP communication in-charge Vijay Nair, a co-accused who has been arrested in the case, reported to his cabinet colleagues Atishi and Saurabh Bhardwaj, and he had “limited” interaction with Nair.

“However the statements of Vijay Nair himself reveal that he stayed in a Cabinet Minister’s bungalow and worked from the camp office of the CM,” the ED said, adding that Kejriwal claimed “unawareness” about the persons who worked at his camp office.

The ED also alleged that Kejriwal was shown WhatsApp chats that pointed to Nair’s involvement in the alleged scam. The agency said it also showed Kejriwal evidence of more than 10 meetings between Nair and other co-accused named in the case, like liquor manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and “middlemen”. It said Kejriwal “evaded” questions by saying he was unaware about these persons.

Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, representing the ED, told the court of Special Judge Kaveri Baweja that Kejriwal was not cooperative and had not shared his passwords with the agency.

The ED had seized four cellphones, including Kejriwal’s, before his arrest on March 21. The Chief Minister switched off his iPhone and has not shared the password, sources said. Senior officials linked to the case had said Kejriwal stated that the ED would be privy to details of the AAP’s “election strategy” and pre-poll alliances it it accessed his phone data and chats.

“The arrestee (Kejriwal) has even given false and contrary evidence vis-a-vis other members of the AAP. When he was confronted with the statements given by his own party leaders he has called them confused,” the ED told the court.

“National treasurer of AAP, N D Gupta (practising CA and former president of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India), in his statement has revealed that it is the national convenor Arvind Kejriwal who appoints the state election in-charge/ prabhari,” it said.

“State prabhari is supposed to manage all election campaign related matters. In case of Goa elections, Durgesh Pathak (AAP MLA) was chosen. However, Arvind Kejriwal states that it is the PAC (Political Affairs Committee) which decided the state election in-charge,” it said.

The ED claimed that Kejriwal first said that N D Gupta, also a Rajya Sabha member of the AAP, is an “active member of the party and is a member of the PAC and has knowledge of the party functioning but when confronted with the statement of N D Gupta wherein he (Gupta) reveals that the national convenor takes such decisions, Arvind Kejriwal calls the national treasurer confused”

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