Arvind Kejriwal sent to judicial custody till April 15, lodged in Tihar jail

The Delhi CM was found to be giving evasive replies and concealing information during the custodial interrogation, the ED told the court  

Updated - April 03, 2024 08:23 am IST

Published - April 01, 2024 11:54 am IST - New Delhi

The ED had arrested Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal on March 21 in connection with the Excise policy-linked money laundering case. File

The ED had arrested Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal on March 21 in connection with the Excise policy-linked money laundering case. File | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was on Monday sent to 14-day judicial custody in connection with a money laundering case filed relating to the now-scrapped Delhi Excise Policy-2021-22. He was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on March 21.

Mr. Kejriwal was sent to Tihar jail after Special Judge (PC Act) Kaveri Baweja of the Rouse Avenue Court passed the orders for his judicial custody till April 15.

Later Mr. Kejriwal’s counsel moved an application seeking to allow him to read three books in jail — the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana and “How Prime Ministers Decide”. He also sought permission for special diet and to have a religious locket apart from getting medically prescribed food.

Also Read: Arvind Kejriwal arrest news LIVE - April 3

Orders for his judicial custody came after the ED, via Additional Solicitor General S.V. Raju, submitted in the court that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief had not been cooperative in the interrogation. The Central agency claimed that Mr. Kejriwal is highly influential and there is every likelihood of the arrestee influencing witnesses and tampering with evidence if released, and it may hamper the ongoing investigation.

Watch | What was the New Delhi Excise Policy all about, and why is Arvind Kejriwal in trouble

“He is found to be giving evasive replies and concealing information during the custodial interrogation,” the ED said.

The ED, in its application, also submitted to the court that when Mr. Kejriwal was asked about the extent of interaction and reporting of Vijay Nair, the Chief Minister had stated that Mr. Nair didn’t report to him but to Delhi Cabinet Ministers Aatishi Marlena and Saurav Bharadwaj.

Also read: Kejriwal promises six guarantees if India alliance comes to power

To mention, Mr. Nair, as claimed by the ED, was the communication in-charge of the AAP and was the first person from the party to be arrested in the case.

“....the statements of Vijay Nair himself reveal that he stayed in a Cabinet Minister’s bunglow and worked from the camp office of the Chief Minister. It was also put to the arrestee to explain that why would someone, who reported to other leaders of the AAP, work from his camp office which anyway is meant for the work of the Chief Minister of Delhi and not for the party. Mr. Kejriwal evaded replying to this by claiming unawareness to the persons who work at the camp office,” the ED alleged.

WhatsApp chats

The Central agency also submitted that in the nine days of ED custody, which started on March 22, Mr. Kejriwal was shown different WhatsApp chats of him with Mr. Nair. The ED also claimed that Mr. Kejriwal was shown evidence of more than 10 meetings of Mr. Nair with other co-accused persons involved in liquor business, including liquor manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and even middlemen like Dinesh Arora and Abhishek Boinpally.

Also read: Arvind Kejriwal’s situation a life lesson for Congress, says Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan

“It was put to the arrestee to explain the authority with which Vijay Nair attended these meetings, and Mr. Kejriwal evaded the question,” the ED claimed. The Chief Minister was shown the evidence of hawala transfers to the tune of ₹45 crore (approximately) which is corroborated with CDR locations, call records, IT seized data of hawala firm in Goa, proof of payments being done in part cash and part bill and WhatsApp showing this arrangement.

“Even after showing all the above evidence, the arrestee claimed unawareness even though the beneficiary of these funds is the AAP which is headed by the Chief Minister,” the Central agency claimed.


The FIR in the Delhi excise policy scam was lodged by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) after the allegations of multiple irregularities in the formation and implementation of the same.

After the CBI case, the ED filed a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), alleging that the money earned through the excise policy was diverted through “hawala” channels to be spent on the AAP’s campaign in Goa ahead of the State Assembly elections there in 2022.

Former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh were arrested in connection with the case last year and have been in judicial custody ever since.

Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) legislator from Telangana, K. Kavitha, was also arrested by the ED in the same scam earlier this month and was sent to Judicial custody on Tuesday.

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