Excise policy case: Delhi court extends CM Kejriwal’s judicial custody till May 20

A Delhi court on Tuesday extended Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s judicial custody till May 20, in a money laundering case related to the alleged excise policy scam being probed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

It was a big day for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo, whose plea challenging his arrest by the agency was heard by the Supreme Court on Tuesday. However, the two-judge bench of the top court decided to pronounce their verdict on his interim bail plea on May 9 or in the next week when it will hear his plea again.

Meanwhile, Special Judge Kaveri Baweja of the Rouse Avenue Court extended his judicial custody on the expiry of his previously granted 14-day judicial custody.

Earlier, while seeking Kejriwal’s judicial custody, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) S. V. Raju, for ED, had stated that it reserves the right to request the AAP supremo’s further custody in the future.

“… in view the ruling of the Hon’ble Apex Court in case V. Senthil Balaji Vs. State….., the ED reserves its right to seek further custody remand of the accused,” the court had noted.

Raju had submitted that the accused had been evasive and had concealed crucial information during custodial interrogation.

He presented two main grounds for seeking judicial custody — first, that the accused is highly influential and has the potential to tamper with evidence or influence witnesses if released, which could hinder ongoing investigations, and second, the complexity of economic crimes, requiring thorough investigation to uncover additional proceeds of crime and identify other individuals involved.

The ED arrested CM Kejriwal on March 21 after questioning him for over two hours at his official residence in Delhi.

The ED has termed CM Kejriwal the “kingpin and the key conspirator” of the alleged excise scam in collusion with other ministers of the Delhi government, AAP leaders, and other persons.

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