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ED Arrests Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal in Liquor Policy Money Laundering Case

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on March 21, 2024, 20:20:38

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India , Aravind Kejariwal, enforcement directorate, Delhi, liquor policy, scam

Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal has been arrested by Enforcement Directorate in now scrapped Delhi liquor policy scam case. The Delhi High Court on Thursday refused to grant Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal any protection from coercive action in an excise policy-linked money laundering case.

An Enforcement Directorate (ED) team reached CM Arvind Kejriwal's residence in Delhi on Thursday evening, officials said, shortly after the high court refused to grant him protection. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief had earlier skipped multiple summonses of the agency in the case.

"We have received news that ED has arrested Arvind Kejriwal... We have always said that Arvind Kejriwal will run the govt from jail. He will remain the CM of Delhi. We have filed a case in the Supreme Court. Our lawyers are reaching SC. We will demand SC have an urgent hearing tonight," said senior AAP leader Atishi.

ED's Aallegations

The ED in a press note had called Kejriwal a "conspirator" in the case. Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) leader in Telengana, K Kavitha, allegedly conspired with Kejriwal, and AAP leaders Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh while framing the now-scrapped liquor policy case, the ED has said.

The alleged conspiracy involved making a policy that would benefit a liquor lobby from southern India, which the ED had called the "South Lobby".
In return, the "South Lobby" would give ₹100 crore to the AAP, according to the ED.

Kejriwal's name had appeared in the statements of some accused and witnesses. The ED has mentioned this in its remand note and chargesheets. Vijay Nair, one of the accused in the liquor policy case, frequently visited Kejriwal's office, and would spend most of his time there, the probe agency said.

Nair allegedly told liquor traders that he discussed the policy with Kejriwal. It was Nair, who got Indospirit owner Sameer Mahendru to meet Kejriwal, the investigators have said.

When the meeting was unsuccessful, he got Mahendru and Kejriwal talk in a video call, in which Kejriwal said Nair was his "child" who he trusts. Raghav Magunta, the first accused in the "South Lobby" and now a witness, had said his father, who is a YSR Congress Party MP in Andhra Predesh, met Kejriwal to know more about the liquor policy.

Sisodia's former secretary C Arvind in a statement in December 2022 had said that in March the previous year he got a draft group of ministers report from Sisodia. When he went to Kejriwal's house after Sisodia called him, Arvind said he also saw Satyendar Jain there and the document. He alleged he was surprised because no such proposal was discussed in any group of ministers' (GoM) meeting, but claimed he was asked to make a GoM report based on this document.

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