File image of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal from an event in New Delhi. (PTI photo)

A court here on Friday sent Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to the Enforcement Directorate’s custody till March 28, a day after his arrest in the excise policy-linked money laundering case.

Special Judge Kaveri Baweja at the Rouse Avenue court said Kejriwal will be produced before the court on March 28 at 2 pm.

The court passed the order on the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) application seeking a 10-day custody in the case.

During the hearing for remand, the ED said that Kejriwal — the AAP’s national convener — was a “key conspirator” in the excise policy scam case along with other ministers and party leaders.

Kejriwal was produced in the trial court shortly after he withdrew from the Supreme Court his plea against his arrest by the agency.

The ED told Judge Baweja that Kejriwal received several crores of rupees as kickbacks from the ‘South group’ for formulating and implementing the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22.

He demanded Rs 100 crore from some accused from the ‘South group’ for contesting the Punjab elections, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju, who appeared for the agency, told the court.

The law officer said the money trail showed that Rs 45 crore “kickback” used in the Goa elections came from four hawala routes.

He said the statements of the accused and witnesses have been corroborated through Call Detail Records (CDR).

The AAP chief was produced before the court around 2 pm amid tight security on and around the court premises.

“We have given an application for 10 days’ remand,” ASG Raju told the court.

He said the AAP is not an individual but a company, and every person responsible for the conduct of the company will be held responsible.

Senior Advocate Abhishek Singhvi, who was representing Kejriwal, said this is the first time in the history of India that a sitting chief minister has been arrested.

The power of arrest is not equal to the need of arrest and there was no necessity of arresting this man, he said.

“Please don’t look at remand as a routine exercise… it requires application of significant judicial mind… larger issues of democracy involved,” Singhvi said.

Lawyer Vikram Chaudhari, who was also representing the Delhi chief minister, told the court that the “ED has become judge, jury and executioner”.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mar 22 2024 | 9:05 PM IST

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