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Arvind Kejriwal sent to judicial custody till April 15 in liquor policy case

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is set to spend the next two weeks in jail following the conclusion of his Enforcement Directorate custody today in the liquor policy case. Despite the ED not seeking further custody of the AAP leader, a local court this morning extended his detention until April 15.

Prior to his transfer to Tihar Jail, the court has granted Mr. Kejriwal permission to meet his wife Sunita Kejriwal and ministers Atishi and Saurabh Bhardwaj.

Mr. Kejriwal, arrested on March 21 over alleged involvement in the liquor policy scam, had been leading his government affairs from the confines of the ED lock-up after evading nine summonses from central agencies.

During his appearance at Delhi’s Rouse Avenue court this morning, the ED asserted that Mr. Kejriwal had been uncooperative and evasive, refusing to disclose the passwords to his digital devices.

Furthermore, the central agency indicated the possibility of seeking Mr. Kejriwal’s custody again in the future as it continues its investigation into money laundering charges related to the liquor policy scandal.

His lawyer has petitioned for specific medicines and dietary requirements considering his health condition while incarcerated.

Meanwhile, Mr. Kejriwal has filed a plea in the Delhi High Court contesting his arrest, arguing infringement of his fundamental rights by the probe agency. The court has issued a notice to the ED, with a reply expected by April 2, and the hearing scheduled to resume on April 3.

Notably, Mr. Kejriwal becomes the third AAP leader, after former deputy Manish Sisodia and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, to be apprehended in connection with the liquor policy case. He has denounced his arrest as a political conspiracy.

During a previous court appearance, Mr. Kejriwal emphasized his innocence, questioning the rationale behind his arrest despite no court having found him guilty. He highlighted the extensive documentation filed by investigative agencies, yet raised doubts regarding the justification for his detention. The excise policy, intended to reform the liquor trade in Delhi, was terminated following an inquiry ordered by Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena into alleged irregularities. The ED alleges that the policy facilitated substantial profits, with purported bribe money purportedly funnelled into AAP election campaigns

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