Delhi excise policy case: Court reserves order on CBI plea seeking judicial custody of CM Kejriwal

After the production of the accused, Kejriwal in the courtroom, the CBI sought his judicial custody in the case.
Delhi CM and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal being brought to a court by CBI officials in connection with a money laundering case related to the Delhi liquor policy, in New Delhi, Saturday, June 29, 2024.
Delhi CM and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal being brought to a court by CBI officials in connection with a money laundering case related to the Delhi liquor policy, in New Delhi, Saturday, June 29, 2024. PTI photo

NEW DELHI: Rouse Avenue Court on Saturday reserved the order on the plea of the CBI seeking judicial custody of Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal in the excise case.

Vacation judge Sunena Sharma, reserved the order, after hearing from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is the probe agency in the Delhi excise case, along with the Enforcement Directorate (ED), and Kejriwal.

Before the judge reserves the order, Delhi CM and AAP (Aam Aadmi Party) National Convenor, Kejriwal was brought and produced before the ouse Avenue Court by the CBI, after his police custody expired today. He was earlier on June 26, sent to 3-day's CBI remand, till today, by same court's Vacation Judge Amitabh Rawat, in connection with the Excise policy case.

After the production of the accused, Kejriwal in the courtroom, the CBI sought his judicial custody in the case.

Senior Advocate Vikram Chaudhari, appearing for Kejriwal, said that this was an investigation going on since August 2022. "I am arrested by the ED on March 21. I am granted bail by the SC for three weeks on May 10 " Chaudhari told the Court.

He further submitted that they (CBI) had collected some evidence against me in January and they got sanction against me under PC (Prevention of Corruption) Act in April.

Delhi CM and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal being brought to a court by CBI officials in connection with a money laundering case related to the Delhi liquor policy, in New Delhi, Saturday, June 29, 2024.
CBI gets three-day custody of Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi excise policy case

The court observed that although it was court's obligation to oversee the steps the IO (Investigating Officer) has taken during the custodial interrogation, but it's between the court and the IO.

"These material can't be disclosed to the accused. The court will definitely be satisfying itself on the material to seek remand. But after PC expires, the court has no option but to remand accused to JC. There is no provision that court should reject IO's application to remand accused to judicial custody," the court observed.

But Chaudhari kept on insisting and sought a direction to CBI to place on record material all the material collected including case diary, during his custodial interrogation.

The court refusing to pass any order, said, "you may leave these aspects for court to consider."

It, however, further opined and clarified that the accused can move application for bail as per the procedure.

Chaudhari said that if the CBI was unable to satisfy your lordships on first three counts, then today the remand proceedings were illegal. If they are unable to satisfy your lordships.

He requested the court that the accused's wife, Sunita Kejriwal and family is here, and if this court allowed them to meet the accused. To this, the Court slowed his prayer and said the accused could only meet them in the court only, and not outside.

The Delhi Chief Minister, Kejriwal had on Sunday knocked the doors of the Supreme Court challenging the Friday's Delhi High Court's order staying his bail, in the Delhi Excise case.

Delhi High Court's Vacation bench of Justice Sudhir Kumar Jain, had on Tuesday in its order allowed the ED's appeal and stayed the trial court's order of granting Kejriwal the bail in the case.

On Thursday, June 20, in a major relief to Kejriwal, Rouse Avenue Court's Vacation Judge, in New Delhi, Niyay Bindu, passed the order, and had granted him bail in the Delhi liquor case. Kejriwal is the prime accused in the now scrapped Delhi liquor case. The court granted Kejriwal bail after directing him to furnish a personal bail bond of Rs 1 lakh.

On June 5, Delhi's same court Judge Kaveri Baweja rejected Kejriwal's bail plea on the ground that his involvement in the crime could not be ruled out. 

The ED had told the Court that he was the mastermind and main conspirator in the Delhi liquor case. "We have all the evidence against him,"the ASG Raju told the court. 

A day after his plea was rejected by the Delhi High Court on April 9, Kejriwal had on April 10 moved the Supreme Court against the dismissal of plea of his arrest and remand in the case.

The accused, Kejriwal claimed innocence in the liquor gate scam case and had told the Court, during the hearings that the timing of his arrest right after the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) is to humiliate, insult, and disable him and his political party.

The ASG Raju said that there are sufficient evidences against him and he is the main criminal conspirator in the Delhi liquor scam case. 

Earlier on May 10, the Supreme Court in its order granted bail to Kejriwal till June 01 to participate in election campaigns, and asked him to surrender on June 02, while imposing certain conditions on him. He was in Tihar jail since March 21, for his alleged involvement in the Delhi liquor case.

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