Excise ‘Scam’: Delhi Court extends Kejriwal’s judicial custody till May 20

Kejriwal’s legal team vehemently refuted the allegations, terming them as “politically motivated” and aimed at maligning the chief minister’s image. They argued for bail, citing a lack of concrete evidence against their client.

In the latest development in the alleged excise policy ‘scam’ case, a Delhi court on Monday extended the judicial custody of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal till May 20. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader was produced before the court through video conferencing after the expiry of his previous judicial remand.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is probing the money laundering allegations linked to the scrapped excise policy, had arrested Kejriwal in April. The agency claimed to have gathered substantial evidence of his involvement in the purported irregularities related to the formulation and execution of the excise policy for the national capital.

Kejriwal’s legal team vehemently refuted the allegations, terming them as “politically motivated” and aimed at maligning the chief minister’s image. They argued for bail, citing a lack of concrete evidence against their client.

However, the court found merit in the ED’s apprehensions of Kejriwal being an influential person and a flight risk. It further noted the complexity of the case and the need for a thorough investigation.

The alleged excise scam pertains to irregularities in the now-scrapped Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22. The policy aimed to revamp the liquor trade in the national capital but was mired in controversies over its implementation. The ED case is based on a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) FIR, which named Kejriwal’s former deputy Manish Sisodia as an accused, among others.

Kejriwal’s extended custody has further intensified the political conflict between the AAP and the BJP-led central government, with both sides accusing each other of indulging in vendetta politics.