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ED Moves Delhi Court for Extending Kejriwal’s Judicial Custody beyond June 2

ED Moves Delhi Court for Extending Kejriwal’s Judicial Custody beyond June 2

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Manas Dasgupta

NEW DELHI, May 20: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday moved Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court seeking a 14-day extension of judicial custody of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal upon the expiry of the Supreme Court interim bail order on June 2 in the money laundering case related to the now scrapped Delhi liquor excise policy.

The agency apprised the court that Mr Kejriwal was currently on interim bail granted by the Supreme Court and had been directed to surrender before the Tihar jail authorities on June 2. The Rouse Avenue court has kept the application pending likely to be taken up on June 2.

The Supreme Court had reserved its verdict on CM Kejriwal’s petition challenging his arrest and subsequent remand by the federal anti-money laundering agency in the excise policy case. It said he could approach the trial court for a grant of regular bail notwithstanding the fact that the apex court reserved judgment in the matter.

During the hearing, a bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta said its “very clear” order had fixed the timeline of CM Kejriwal’s “release and surrender” and was not making any exception to anybody. Kejriwal, who was arrested on March 21 by the ED in connection with the agency’s money laundering probe into the now scrapped Delhi excise policy, was granted interim bail by the Supreme Court on May 10. He will have to surrender and go back to jail on June 2, a day after the last phase of polling in the general elections.

On Friday, the ED in its latest charge-sheet named Mr Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as accused in the excise policy probe. The ED sources said the detailed charge-sheet had been filed based on ‘irrefutable evidence’ showing that “Kejriwal is the key conspirator who used his position as the CM of Delhi to facilitate the offence of money laundering punishable u/s 4 of PMLA (prevention of money laundering act) by the ‘company’ i.e. AAP.”

The ED had earlier claimed that AAP, being a political party, was defined as an association or a body of individual citizens of India under the Representation of the People Act, and hence it can be categorised as a “company” as contemplated under section 70 of the PMLA.

The court also extended the judicial custody of the Bharat Rashtra Samithi leader K. Kavitha in the parallel case registered by CBI till June 3.

The excise case pertains to alleged corruption and money laundering in formulating and executing the Delhi government’s excise policy for 2021-22, which was later scrapped.



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