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Delhi court extends Kejriwal’s judicial custody till Apr 23 in excise policy case | Latest News Delhi

A Delhi court on Monday extended the judicial custody of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal till April 23 in the money laundering case related to the now-scrapped Excise Policy 2021-22.

Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal leaves the premises of a Delhi court in a car on March 28. (AP FIle Photo)

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convenor was arrested on March 21 by ED, hours after the Delhi high court denied his request for interim protection from arrest — that left the Capital’s politics in turmoil and pushed to new heights the ongoing conflict between the Union government and the AAP.

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Special judge Kaveri Baweja extended Kejriwal’s judicial custody by eight days while noting that co-accused K Kavitha has also been sent to judicial custody till April 23.

Kejriwal is the third AAP leader to be arrested in the case after Delhi’s former deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia and parliamentarian Sanjay Singh. Kejriwal has been in judicial custody since April 1.

The court earlier on April 10 dismissed his plea seeking to increase his legal meetings from twice a week to five times a week noting that he has misused the time for legal meetings and passed orders through his counsels.

Also Read | Delhi court sends BRS leader Kavitha to judicial custody till Apr 23 in CBI case

The Delhi high court last week rejected Kejriwal’s petition challenging his arrest and seeking release from jail, noting that the ED has sufficient evidence “at this stage which points out towards the guilt” of the AAP convener for the commission of the offence of money laundering.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the ED seeking reply on Kejriwal’s plea challenging his arrest in the money laundering case.

The Delhi government’s 2021-22 excise policy aimed to revitalise the city’s flagging liquor business. It aimed to replace a sales volume-based regime with a license fee one for traders, and promised swankier stores, free of the infamous metal grilles, ultimately giving customers a better buying experience. The policy also introduced discounts and offers on the purchase of liquor, a first for Delhi.

The plan, however, ended abruptly, with Delhi’s lieutenant governor (LG) Vinai Kumar Saxena recommending a probe into alleged irregularities in the regime. This ultimately resulted in the policy being scrapped prematurely and being replaced by the 2020-21 regime, with the AAP alleging that Saxena’s predecessor sabotaged the move with a few last-minute changes that resulted in lower-than-expected revenues.

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