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Arvind Kejriwal arrested by ED in Delhi excise policy case
Arvind Kejriwal
Photo courtesy: Facebook/Arvind Kejriwal

Arvind Kejriwal arrested by ED in Delhi excise policy case

| @indiablooms | 21 Mar 2024, 09:28 pm

New Delhi/IBNS: Just weeks ahead of the Lok Sabha election, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was on Thursday evening arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in the alleged liquor policy scam.

The arrest comes hours after a team from the ED questioned him at his residence under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

Kejriwal has become the first serving Chief Minister to be arrested and is the third senior leader from the party to be arrested in connection with the Delhi liquor policy scam.

Delhi Minister Atishi has confirmed that Kejriwal will continue to remain the chief Minister of the national capital

Kejriwal is being now taken for medical test before he will be produced in the court on Friday.

According to reports, the AAP will approach the Supreme Court against the arrest on Friday.

The ED officials came with a search warrant and confiscated the phones of the Aam Aadmi Party chief as well as his family.

Delhi Police and Rapid Action Force personnel as well as CRPF teams have deployed outside Kerjiwal's residence.

Kejriwal has already skipped nine summons issued by the ED in connection with the alleged liquor policy scam.

On Monday, he skipped a summon issued by the agency in a money-laundering case linked to alleged irregularities in the Delhi Jal Board.

The ED's questioning of the Delhi chief minister less than a week after BRS leader K Kavitha was arrested in the liquor policy case. After her arrest, Kejriwal was, for the first time, named as a conspirator in the case.

Ever since the ED issued the first summons in October last year and Kejriwal was asked to appear on Nov 2 last year, there was a momentum that the Delhi chief minister would be arrested by the agency.

Former Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia was arrested in connection with the case in February last year, and AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh was taken into custody in October.

Earlier in the day, the Delhi High Court declined to give protection from arrest to Kejriwal in the liquor policy case but had asked the ED to file a reply to his petition.

In a press note released on Sunday, the ED called the AAP chief a conspirator in the alleged liquor policy scam.

"ED investigation revealed that Ms K Kavitha along with others conspired with the top leaders of AAP including Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia for getting favours in the Delhi Excise policy formulation and implementation. In exchange of these favours, she was involved in paying ₹ 100 Crore to the leaders of AAP," the press note said.

"By the acts of corruption and conspiracy in the formulation and implementation of Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22, a continuous stream of illegal funds in the form of kickback, from the wholesalers was generated for the AAP. Further, Smt K Kavitha and her associates were to recover the proceeds of crime paid in advance to AAP and to further generate profits/proceeds of crime from this entire conspiracy," it added.

Kejriwal, who is one of the prominent opposition leaders in the country, had called the ED summons as a "political vendetta" by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which runs the Centre but is out of power in the union territory.

The Chief Minister, who is a staunch opponent of the BJP, said the saffron brigade wants to bring an attack on his "asset" which is "honesty".

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