Delhi CM Kejriwal and BRS Leader Kavitha Remain in Custody as PM Modi Criticizes Congress

Delhi CM Kejriwal and BRS leader Kavitha to remain in custody till May 7 in liquor policy case, as opposition unites against BJP's alleged misuse of agencies ahead of 2024 polls.

Rafia Tasleem
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Delhi CM Kejriwal and BRS Leader Kavitha Remain in Custody as PM Modi Criticizes Congress

Delhi CM Kejriwal and BRS Leader Kavitha Remain in Custody as PM Modi Criticizes Congress

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) leader K Kavitha will remain in judicial custody until May 7 in connection with the Delhi liquor policy case. A Delhi court extended their custody after Kejriwal's plea challenging his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) was denied by the Supreme Court.

Kejriwal was arrested on March 21 by the ED in a money laundering case linked to the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy. The ED has named him as the "kingpin and key conspirator" of the alleged scam. Kavitha, a Telangana MLC and daughter of former Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, was also arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on March 15 in the related corruption case.

The central agencies are investigating charges of money laundering based on an FIR filed by the CBI, alleging that the AAP government modified the liquor excise policy to increase the commission of wholesalers, facilitating the receipt of bribes. The ED has also alleged that Kavitha, as part of the "South Group", conspired with senior AAP leaders, including Kejriwal, to secure favors in the formulation and implementation of the policy.

Kejriwal's lawyers had claimed the ED arrested him despite assuring the Supreme Court against it, but the ED counsel stated this was never highlighted when the matter was heard after his arrest. The ED opposed granting bail to Kavitha, arguing there was no breach of the undertaking given to the Supreme Court to not send her summons for 10 days.

Why this matters: The arrests of Kejriwal and Kavitha have sparked protests and united the opposition alliance INDIA against the BJP-led central government. The case is seen as a major political battle ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, with Kejriwal's AAP accusing the BJP of misusing central agencies to target opposition leaders.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticized the Congress party during a rally in Rajasthan. Opinion polls suggest that Modi's BJP is likely to win a historic third term in the ongoing general elections. The Delhi High Court also dismissed a PIL seeking extraordinary interim bail for Kejriwal in all criminal cases registered against him by central agencies, imposing a fine of Rs. 75,000 on the petitioner.

Key Takeaways

  • Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and BRS leader K Kavitha to remain in judicial custody till May 7.
  • Kejriwal arrested by ED in money laundering case linked to Delhi excise policy, Kavitha by CBI.
  • Central agencies allege Kejriwal and Kavitha conspired to secure favors in the policy formulation.
  • Kejriwal's bail plea denied, Delhi High Court dismisses PIL seeking bail in all cases against him.
  • Arrests seen as major political battle ahead of 2024 elections, opposition unites against BJP.