Delhi Excise Policy: CBI to Produce Arvind Kejriwal in Court Today

Delhi Excise Policy

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is schedule to produce Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in court today as his three-day custody period concludes. The AAP convenor, apprehended by the CBI on Wednesday in connection with the excise policy case, is scheduled to appear before the Rouse Avenue court at 7 pm.

Remand and Allegations

Initially, the probe agency sought a five-day remand but was granted three, arguing that Kejriwal’s custody was necessary to confront him with evidence and documents related to the case. The agency also alleged that Kejriwal had implicated former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, attributing the privatization idea to him.

Vikram Chaudhary, Kejriwal’s lawyer, opposed the central probe agency’s plea for extended custody, describing it as an abuse of power and requesting access to pertinent documents.

The Delhi chief minister addressed the court directly, asserting his innocence and that of other AAP leaders, including his deputy Manish Sisodia. He accused the CBI of manipulating media headlines to falsely portray his involvement and denied assigning blame to Sisodia.

Arvind Kejriwal is already in Tihar jail for his alleged involvement in a money laundering case being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

The Excise Policy Case

The Delhi excise policy case involves alleged irregularities in the 2021-22 excise policy, including modifications, undue favors to licensees, and the extension of L-1 licenses without prior approval. The CBI is investigating corruption charges, while the ED is looking into alleged money laundering.

According to an assessment report prepared by Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar, Delhi’s then-Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena recommended a CBI probe into the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government’s 2021-22 excise policy in July 2022, citing “deliberate and gross procedural lapses.”

In August 2022, the CBI registered a case against Manish Sisodia, three Delhi government officials, ten liquor licensees, and unknown others, following a request for an investigation by the Home Ministry.

As per the CBI’s FIR, the accused individuals were instrumental in recommending and making decisions regarding the excise policy for the year 2021-22 without obtaining approval from the competent authority. This was allegedly done with the intention of extending undue favors to the licensees after the tender process.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte