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Court rejects Arvind Kejriwal’s plea for more legal meetings in jail | Latest News Delhi

A Delhi court on Wednesday rejected chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s plea for five legal meetings, as against two at present, while in judicial custody on the grounds that he had not been utilising the allotted time for the intended purpose, noting that in one such meeting, he had issued order to a cabinet minister.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal (PTI)

Special judge Kaveri Baweja said in her order: “The status report/note filed by the investigating agency indicates that the applicant had dictated certain directions for being passed on to the water minister (Atishi), to one of his lawyers (whose name he refused to disclose to the investigating agency) during the course of a legal meeting.”

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In court, the Enforcement Directorate opposed the request, contending that being a public figure and a chief minister did not grant him special privilege to run the government from prison. The agncy further argued that Kejriwal had been passing orders through his lawyers, as revealed in statements recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Two such orders were issued by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener while he was placed in ED custody on March 21.

The court agreed with the ED.

Rejecting Kejriwal’s plea for parity with AAP parliamentarian Sanjay Singh, who was allowed legal meetings thrice a week, the court noted that the earlier order was issued without proper consideration of relevant jail rules or hearing opposing arguments.

Read here: Delhi court dismisses Kejriwal’s application seeking to increase legal meetings

The court observed that Kejriwal’s application lacked specific details of the cases against him, making it challenging to assess the sufficiency of permitted legal meetings. It deemed his request for five legal meetings per week as arbitrary and lacking factual basis.

The court further noted that Kejriwal, like any other inmate, was subject to the law and jail rules. It cited a Delhi high court order from March 2024 that held that elected representatives were not exempt from the law.

Kejriwal has been in judicial custody since April 1. His petition challenging the arrest and seeking release from jail was dismissed by the Delhi high court on Tuesday, citing prima facie sufficient evidence of money laundering.

The ED alleges that Kejriwal was involved in a conspiracy involving a 100-crore bribe over changes in the 2021-22 excise policy. The case was initially taken up by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on the recommendation of Delhi LG V K Saxena in July 2022.

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