CBI: Officials who opposed Excise Policy were replaced

| Updated: 26 June, 2024 1:28 pm IST

New Delhi: In the latest update regarding the Delhi Excise Policy Scam, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday arrested Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal after presenting the letter before the Rouse Avenue Court.

When Kejriwal was brought to the court, his counsel said, “Give me a copy of formal applications so that I can file a reply because as per law, I have a right to reply.”

The CBI responded that they needed to proceed with their investigation. “I have to investigate. I will prepare my grounds of arrest. I will prepare my remand application—that cannot be curtailed. I have limited time. The prosecution will have time to reply. The process of formal arrest should start now,” said the CBI counsel.

Subsequently, Kejriwal was officially arrested.

ALSO READ: ED alleges cash transactions and kickbacks in Sanjay Singh’s Delhi excise policy scam   – THE NEW INDIAN

During the court proceedings, Kejriwal’s counsel opposed the CBI’s move, arguing that not a single notice under Section 41-A was sent for interrogation and that a production warrant was suddenly issued.

The CBI replied, “When we have not made an arrest formally, why is the defence being heard so extensively?”

The judge remarked, “I agree with the defence that they have to justify the action, but it can only be done after he has been arrested. Someone who is in judicial custody cannot be arrested straight away.”

The judge further explained, “In judicial custody, the CBI had moved an application for examination on June 24, from which it was felt that the accused needed to be arrested, and thereby the production warrant was issued so that a formal arrest could be made.”

ALSO READ: CBI arrests Kejriwal in excise policy case – THE NEW INDIAN 

Advocate DP Singh, appearing for the CBI, stated that they had a statement indicating that a person met Kejriwal about the Delhi excise policy even before the policy was formulated. “We have the statement of Magunta Reddy in this regard. We have evidence to show that the South Group influenced what the policy should be like. If you see the sequence, the haste with which the notification was done. This happened when the Covid pandemic was at its prime. Who was at the helm of affairs? It is the Chief Minister,” Singh argued.

The court questioned whether the CBI was alleging that the policy was made under the influence of the South Lobby.

The CBI alleged that the normal procedure was bypassed and that the officers who disagreed with the policy were replaced. Two officials were reportedly changed.

ALSO READ: CBI arrests Kejriwal in excise policy case – THE NEW INDIAN

In the excise policy case, Delhi’s former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia was previously arrested similarly. After questioning in Tihar jail, the ED arrested Sisodia on March 9, 2023. Like Kejriwal, Sisodia was also scheduled for a bail hearing on March 10 in the CBI case when he was arrested.

Kejriwal was granted bail by a vacation judge, but the Delhi High Court later put a stay on it. Kejriwal’s counsel then moved to the Supreme Court against the stay. Today, the Supreme Court was set to hear arguments on this matter when Kejriwal was arrested by the CBI.

On Tuesday, a team of CBI officials went to Tihar Jail and questioned Kejriwal regarding the case. This morning, Kejriwal was produced before the court on a production warrant, where the CBI placed him under arrest.

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