CBI acted with malice, creating false basis for arrest: Kejriwal to HC | India News

CBI acted with malice, creating false basis for arrest: Kejriwal to HC | India News

CBI acted with malice, creating false basis for arrest: Kejriwal to HC | India News

New Delhi: Delhi CM and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal being brought to a court by CBI officials in connection with a money laundering case related to the Delhi liquor policy, in New Delhi, Saturday, June 29, 2024. (Photo: PTI)

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday approached the Delhi High Court against his arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in Excise Policy case and alleged that CBI acted with malice, creating a false basis for arrest.

No proper justification or reasoning was provided for the arrest, especially considering the investigation has been ongoing for two years, stated Arvind Kejriwal in his plea before the Delhi High Court.

Kejriwal’s plea further stated that his arrest was allegedly based on material in CBI’s possession before June 4, adding that arrest on previously available material is illegal as it involves re-evaluation, which is not permitted by law.

CBI has not presented any new material obtained after June 4, to justify the investigation or arrest. The arrest was allegedly based on my responses, which is not a valid ground, Kejriwal stated in his plea.

CBI received permission to investigate under Section 17A of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, only on April 23. CBI has not shown any evidence obtained after April 23, justifying the arrest under Section 41 (1)(b)(ii), he stated in his plea before Delhi High Court.

The Bench of Justice Neena Bansal Krishna is scheduled to hear the matter on Tuesday.

The Rouse Avenue Court of Delhi on June 29, sent Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to Judicial custody in connection with the Excise policy case on Saturday.

The CBI alleged that during the police custody remand, the accused Arvind Kejriwal has been examined/ interrogated. However, he did not cooperate with the investigation and deliberately gave evasive replies contrary to the evidence on record.

On being confronted with the evidence, he did not give a proper and truthful explanation regarding the enhancement of the profit margin for wholesalers from 5 per cent to 12 per cent under new Excise Policy of Delhi 2021-22, without any study or justification, said CBI.

He also could not explain as to why during the peak of second wave of Covid, the Cabinet approval for a revised Excise Policy was hurriedly obtained through circulation within 1 day, when the accused persons of the South Group were camping in Delhi and holding meetings with his close associate Vijay Nair, CBI said.

He evaded the questions regarding the meetings of his associate Vijay Nair with various stakeholders of liquor business in Delhi and demanded illegal gratification from them for favorable provisions in the upcoming Excise Policy, the CBI added.

He also could not give a proper explanation regarding his meeting with Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy, accused Arjun Pandey, and accused Mootha Gautham of India Ahead News. He also evaded questions regarding the transfer and utilization of ill-gotten money to the tune of Rs 44.54 crore in Goa Assembly Elections by his party during 2021-22, the CBI said.

In the light of aforesaid facts and circumstances, the further custodial interrogation of the accused Arvind Kejriwal is not required at this stage, the CBI said.

CBI alleged that Kejriwal was deliberately and intentionally evading the just and relevant questions related to the case.

Kejriwal, being a prominent politician and Chief Minister of Delhi, is a very influential person, as such, there are credible reasons to believe that Kejriwal may influence the witnesses and evidence already exposed before him during the custodial interrogation and also the potential witnesses, who are yet to be examined, tamper with the evidence to be further collected and may hamper the ongoing investigation, the CBI added.

On June 26, the trial court’s vacation judge sent Arvind Kejriwal on three days Custodial Remand of CBI.

Arvind Kejriwal himself addressed the court and said, “CBI is claiming that I have made a statement against Manish Sisodia, which is completely false. Manish Sisodia Nirdosh hai, Aam Aadmi Party Nirdosh hai. main bhi nirdosh hun. Iss Tarah ke statements hamme media me badnam Karne ke liye diye ja rahe hai. (Manish Sisodia is innocent, Aam Aadmi Party is innocent. I am also innocent. Such statements are being given in the media to defame us.)”

He also added “CBI sources ke hawale se media me hamme badnam kar rahe rahe hai. Inka plan hai ki media front page ye chala de ki Kejriwal ne sara thikra Manish Sisodia pe daal diya. (They are defaming us in the media, citing CBI sources. Their plan is to have the front page of media run a story stating that Kejriwal has put all the blame on Manish Sisodia.)”

However, the Court said, “Apki statement maine pad liya hai… apne aisa nahi bola. (“I have read your statement… you did not say this.”)”

CBI counsel earlier alleged that on May 25, 2021, policy was notified. Before this first attempt was made to meet liquor baron. The policy wasn’t notified. But the process of finding suitors started?

Meanwhile, Senior Advocate Vikram Chaudhari appeared for Arvind Kejriwal opposed the remand application moved by CBI, and said CBI has filed four chargesheets till now and now arresting Kejriwal and it still has to identify some persons through Kejriwal. Is this a valid reason for arrest?

Kejriwal’s lawyer further added that according to CBI Kejriwal gave evasive replies during his examination/Interrogation in Tihar jail. The investigation officer of the case called it evasive because the only reply they want is Kejriwal’s admission of guilt.

Chaudhri also questioned the timing of Kejriwal’s arrest, saying, They (referring to CBI) were waiting for the pronouncement of Kejriwal’s bail order. They could’ve arrested Kejriwal on June 2 when he surrendered. The materials must be perused by the Court before granting them (the CBI) the custody of Kejriwal.

On June 26, CBI arrested the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convenor Kejriwal after the Vacation Judge of Delhi Court allowed CBI to examine/interrogate him in the courtroom so that the agency could proceed with his formal arrest.

The court also asked CBI to place on record the material that they have for Kejriwal’s arrest.

The Delhi High Court recently stayed Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s bail order passed by the trial court, saying that the trial court should have at least recorded its satisfaction with the fulfillment of twin conditions of section 45 of Prevention of the Money Laundering Act (PMLA) before passing the impugned order.

(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.)

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