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Judiciary

Kejriwal named Atishi and Saurav Bharadwaj to whom accused Vijay Nair reported, ED tells Spl Court [Read Order]

By Jhanak Singh      02 April, 2024 12:55 PM      0 Comments
Kejriwal named Atishi and Saurav Bharadwaj to whom accused Vijay Nair reported, ED tells Spl Court

NEW DELHI: Enforcement Directorate on Monday claimed before a court here that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal named Atishi Marlena and Saurav Bharadwaj as the persons to whom co accused Vijay Nair in liquor scam case used to report.

It also claimed Kejriwal gave evasive replies and concealed information and remained totally non cooperative during his custodial interrogation after his arrest on March 21 from his residence during searches.

The agency claimed the statements of Nair had during interrogation revealed that he stayed in a Cabinet Minister's Bunglow and worked from the Camp office of the CM. Kejriwal claimed his interaction with Nair was limited as "Nair didn't report to him, but to Atishi and Bharadwaj".

Nair was the first person who was arrested in the case.

"It was also put to the arrestee to explain that why would someone, who reported to other leaders of AAP, work from his camp office which anyways is meant for the work of the CM of Delhi and not for the party. Kejriwal evaded replying to this by claiming unawareness to the persons who work at the CM Camp office," it said.

The ED also claimed Kejriwal showed unawareness, though shown evidence of 10 meetings of Nair with co-accused and persons involved in liquor buisness.

"It is clear that a senior functionary like Nair who closely worked with the arrestee wouldn't be able to assert himself without the sanction and approval of the head of the party. This is also because the ultimate benefit of these conspiracies/meetings was reaped by the AAP in Goa election campaign," it claimed.

The ED also contended that Kejriwal was shown the evidence of Hawala transfers to the tune of Rs 45 Cr approx which is corroborated with CDR locations, call records, IT seized data of Hawala firm in Goa, proof of payments being done in part cash and part bill and WhatsApp showing this arrangement.

"He was also shown multiple statements of witnesses who worked on the AAP campaign in Goa who received cash from one Chanpreet Singh who was working for the AAP campaign in Goa. This person who collected and facilitated collection of Rs 45 Cr cash through Hawala also received Rs 2,20,340 directly in his bank account from the AAP. Even after showing all the above evidence, the arrestee claimed unawareness even though the beneficiary of these funds is the AAP which is headed by the arrestee," it said.

It also alleged Kejriwal called party treasurer N D Gupta as confused for having made a statement it was Kejriwal who took decision on appointment of election incharge.

The ED claimed Kejriwal is highly influential person who may influence witnesses and tamper with the evidence which may hamper the investigation.

Seeking 15 days judicial custody, the agency submitted before Special Judge Kaveri Baweja that it was still investigating the role of Kejriwal and unearthing the proceeds of crime and other persons involved in the offence.

Senior advocate Ramesh Gupta, appearing for Kejriwal did not oppose the application for judicial custody remand of the accused.

The court sent Kejriwal to judicial custody till April 15, as investigation was still pending with regard to his role and unearthing of the proceeds of crime.

During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General S V Raju submitted the accused had remained evasive during the custodial interrogation, and did not share phone password.

While being taken outside the courtroom, Kejriwal said, "Whatever Prime Minister is doing is not good for the country".

Kejriwal was arrested on March 21, 2024 by the Enforcement Directorate.

He had since then remained in custody of the Enforcement Directorate for the purpose of interrogation.

The ED had earlier claimed Kejriwal was the kingpin and key conspirator of the Delhi excise scam as he was involved in formulating the policy in 2021-22 to favour certain persons and in exchange of bribe over Rs 100 Cr.

It claimed Rs 45 Cr, the part of money received through Hawala routes, were used in Goa Assembly elections.

The ED registered the money laundering case on August 22, 2022 in relation of scheduled offences of the CBI which lodged its case on August 17, 2022 in connection with irregularities committed in framing and implementation of excise policy for the year 2021-22 and payment of bribe.

Kejriwal filed a writ petition before the Delhi High Court seeking declaration that his arrest on March 21, 2024 was illegal, arbitrary, and unconstitutional. He also prayed for setting aside the order of remand passed on March 22, 2024.

The HC had declined any interim relief to Kejriwal on March 27, 2024, and asked the ED to file a reply on April 2, 2024 and scheduled the matter for final disposal on April 3, 2024.

 

[Read Order]



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