Delhi Liquor Scam: Rouse Avenue Court Sends Arvind Kejriwal in ED Custody till 28 March

Delhi Liquor Scam

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, arrested in the liquor scam, has been sent to ED remand for 7 days by the Rouse Avenue Court of the Capital City. After this order of Rouse Avenue Court, the crisis for Kejriwal and Delhi government has deepened. However, on March 17, BRS leader K. Kavita’s arrest, it was presumed that now ED can take Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also into custody. Arvind Kejriwal had also sensed the intention of the ED, hence he challenged the summons issued by the ACMM court on the complaint of the ED in the ADJ’s court. But there was disappointment. After this he appeared in the ACMM court and immediately got bail.

ED Vs. Arvind Kejriwal first pc(signed)

After this, ED issued another summons and directed Arvind Kejriwal to reach the ED office on March 21 at 11 am. Arvind Kejriwal went to the High Court, terming this summons as illegal. Arvind Kejriwal’s lawyers told the Delhi High Court that he needs the court’s protection from punitive action. A heated argument lasted for several hours between Arvind Kejriwal’s lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi and ED lawyer SV Raju. Many times the court had to intervene. In the end, the court told the lawyer SV Raju appearing on behalf of ED that if you have strong evidence to interrogate Arvind Kejriwal, then present it before the court. On this Raju said that he has enough documents. But they cannot be shown to the petitioner.

Justices Suresh Kumar Kait and Manoj Jain of the bench hearing the case studied the documents given by the ED in their chamber and the hearing resumed after lunch. When the hearing started again, Abhishek Manu Singhvi told the court that we have doubts about the intentions of the ED. ED wants to arrest Arvind Kejriwal. If they will not arrest then why don’t they say it openly in front of the court. Their intentions are not good so we should get protection. On this, ED lawyer SV Raju said that we will work as per the law. In the eyes of law, a common man and the Chief Minister are equal. We want to interrogate Arvind Kejriwal. SV Raju said that summons are being sent continuously for eight months. But they are calling the ED summons itself illegal. Every time a new thing comes to light to avoid questioning. On this, the court asked why ED has not arrested Arvind Kejriwal yet, then SV Raju said that we want to interrogate him. After much debate, the Delhi High Court, without giving any relief to Arvind Kejriwal, fixed April 22 for the next hearing of the case.

Meanwhile, ED obtained a search warrant and at 7 pm on March 21, the 8-10 team reached the official residence of Arvind Kejriwal.

Seeing such a large number of ED officers at his residence, Arvind Kejriwal activated his legal team for an urgent hearing in the Supreme Court. One legal team of Kejriwal did e-filing and the other team reached the house of the Registrar (Vacation) and started demanding urgent hearing. Finally, when it was told that there would be no hearing at night, Arvind Kejriwal agreed to be arrested, but he did not resign from the post of Chief Minister. Arvind Kejriwal probably hoped that the Rouse Avenue Court would not send him to ED custody. At most he will be sent to judicial custody. From where he will come out after a day or two after getting bail.

Remand Application and Statement of DN Gupta
In paragraph 6.2 of the remand application filed in Rouse Avenue Court, ED has described Arvind Kejriwal as the king pin of Delhi liquor scam. ED has said that Arvind Kejriwal, along with ministers-leaders of Delhi government and some others, made a liquor policy for the year 2021-22 through which bribes could be collected from liquor traders. In para 6.2.1, ED has written that Arvind Kejriwal is directly involved in making the policy of liquor scam. As evidence, ED has also presented the statement of Manish Sisodia’s secretary C Arvind.

Further on, ED has also mentioned Buchi Babu, Vijay Nair, Arun Pillai in the next paragraphs. Buchi Babu is directly related to K.’s poetry. And K. Kavitha represented South Group. Arvind Kejriwal had taken bribe to make liquor policy as per the wish of South Group. The ED has presented the written statements of many people including Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy, Raghav Magunta as evidence. ED told how half the bills for purchase and sale of liquor were made and half the amount was paid in cash.

ED has also told how crores of rupees were transported to Goa through Hawala. Of these, Rs 45 crore was received through hawala from South Group as bribe and was spent by the Aam Aadmi Party in the 2022 elections of Goa. All this was happening at the behest and direct supervision of Arvind Kejriwal. On the basis of this, a case of money laundering was registered against Aam Aadmi Party under Section 70(1) of the PMLA Act. Describing Arvind Kejriwal as the king of Delhi liquor scam, ED said that since he was the National Convenor and a member of the National Executive Committee, he himself handled the responsibility of raising funds for the party. He was directly involved in asking for kickbacks.

To prove Arvind Kejriwal as the king pin of the liquor scam, ED has also presented the statement of Rajya Sabha MP and National Treasurer ND Gupta. Finally, ED has said that 10 days’ custody of Arvind Kejriwal is required to identify the evidence found in this case, to confront the witnesses face to face and for further interrogation.

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About the Author: Ashish Sinha

-Ashish Kumar Sinha -Editor Legally Speaking -Ram Nath Goenka awardee - 14 Years of Experience in Media - Covering Courts Since 2008