Kejriwal moves court for regular bail in Liquor Scam Case, seeks interim relief

Special Judge Kaveri Baweja of the Rouse Avenue Courts issued notice to the ED, seeking its response to both Kejriwal’s regular and interim bail pleas. The judge set the next hearing for June 1 at 2 pm.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday approached a city court seeking regular bail in the money laundering case linked to the alleged liquor policy scam being probed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). He has also filed a plea for interim bail on medical grounds for seven days.

Special Judge Kaveri Baweja of the Rouse Avenue Courts issued notice to the ED, seeking its response to both Kejriwal’s regular and interim bail pleas. The judge set the next hearing for June 1 at 2 pm.

Appearing for the ED, Additional Solicitor General S.V. Raju urged the court to grant time for filing a detailed reply, stating the agency intends to bring certain “suppressions” on record regarding Kejriwal’s conduct.

Kejriwal was arrested by the ED on March 21 in the liquor policy scam case but secured interim bail from the Supreme Court which is set to expire on June 1. He has been directed to surrender before the court on June 2.

The Supreme Court registry on Wednesday refused to list Kejriwal’s plea seeking a seven-day extension of the interim bail, prompting him to move the trial court for regular bail.

The alleged liquor policy scam pertains to irregularities in the framing and implementation of the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22. The ED case is based on a Central Bureau of Investigation FIR which flagged alleged irregularities including favoring liquor traders, distributors and companies.

Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party have dismissed the charges as politically motivated, accusing the BJP-led central government of misusing investigative agencies. He has argued the policy was aimed at increasing government revenue and streamlining liquor trade in Delhi.

The ED, which investigates money laundering allegations, has made two arrests so far in the liquor case – Sameer Mahendru, an alleged associate of Kejriwal, and Vijay Nair, a former CEO of an event management company.

Judge Baweja will take up the arguments on Kejriwal’s regular bail application next week. The AAP leader’s interim bail has allowed him to campaign for his party in poll-bound states like Punjab in recent weeks.