Law & Judiciary

    Delhi court reserves order on Kejriwal's plea, which seeks increase in number of legal meeting during judicial custody; ED opposes

    The Hawk
    April5/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal seeks court's nod to increase legal meetings amidst excise policy case; Rouse Avenue Court to decide on April 9. Facing multiple FIRs, Kejriwal argues for more lawyer interactions as he navigates judicial custody until April 15.

    Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal

    New Delhi: The Rouse Avenue Court on Friday reserved the order in an application moved by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal seeking direction to increase the number of legal meetings with his lawyers from two to five times in a week.
    Through plea, he stated that as he is facing multiple FIRs in various states, a lot of legal work takes place and hence the number of meeting shall be increased.

    The Special Judge Kaveri Baweja noted the submissions fixed the matter for passing of order on April 9, 2024.
    Special Counsel Zoheb Hossain appeared for respondents; authorities opposed the application, stating that the applicant is seeking five times legal meetings in a week, which is clearly against the Jail Manual.
    According to the manual, only one legal meeting is allowed in a week and in special circumstances, two meeting may be allowed. This applicant is already getting two legal meeting.
    If someone chooses to run the government from jail, you can't be treated exceptionally, said lawyers.

    On April 1, 2024, the court sent the Delhi Chief Minister to judicial custody till April 15 in the excise policy money laundering case.
    The Court on April 1, had directed Tihar Jail authorities to allow Kejriwal to carry prescribed medicine, books, one table and chair, a religious locket and a special diet as prescribed by the doctors, as per the jail manual.
    Kejriwal was arrested on March 21 by the Enforcement Directorate in relation to the excise policy case and has spent 10 days in ED custody, after court direction.
    Kejriwal was arrested by the central agency on charges of corruption in relation to the case. It is the first time in independent India that a serving Chief Minister has been arrested. The move came after Kejriwal skipped multiple summons by the investigation agency, nine in total, calling them "illegal."
    The case pertains to alleged irregularities and money laundering in framing and implementing the Delhi excise policy 2022, which was later scrapped.
    While Kejriwal was not named in the FIRs registered by the ED or the Central Bureau of Investigation in the Delhi excise policy case, his name first found a mention in the ED's chargesheet, wherein the agency claimed that he allegedly spoke to one of the main accused, Sameer Mahendru, in a video call and asked him to continue working with co-accused and AAP communications-in-charge Vijay Nair.

    Nair was among the first people to be arrested by the CBI in the case, in 2022. Subsequently, former deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh were arrested in connection with the case.