Arvind Kejriwal sent to Tihar jail, here’s what he requested to take along

The chief minister was arrested the night of March 21.

WrittenBy:Tanishka Sodhi
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As he walked towards the courtroom, crowded by police personnel on both sides, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had only one thing to say to the sea of reporters waiting outside Rouse Avenue Courtroom 512: “Pradhan Mantri ji jo yeh kar raha hai, yeh desh ke liye acha nahi hai.” (What the prime minister is doing is not good for the country.)

The reporters got the byte they were waiting for and, 20 minutes later, the Enforcement Directorate got the custody they were arguing for too. Special CBI Judge Kaveri Baweja sent Kejriwal to 14-day judicial custody in connection with the alleged liquor scam. 

The chief minister’s lawyers did not oppose the custody but made four requests, which included permission to carry three books to jail: the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana, and How Prime Ministers Decide by journalist Neerja Chowdary. 

Kejriwal will be the fourth AAP leader in Tihar jail. Former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, and Satyender Jain are already in prison. Bharat Rashtra Samithi leader Kavita is also in Tihar jail in connection with the same case. 

What were the arguments made by ED and Kejriwal today?

What ED said

Kejriwal was produced in court at 11.30 am after the ED’s four-day custody of him came to an end. He was first remanded to six days of ED custody on March 22 and, when that expired, it was extended by four more days. 

The ED said it was not asking for further remand (a total of 15 days’ remand is permitted, and ED has been granted 10 days so far) but for judicial custody, subject to the right of asking for further custody. ASG Raju, arguing virtually, claimed that Kejriwal had been giving “evasive” replies during questioning and was deliberately trying to mislead the agency.

“He is only saying ‘I don't know, I don't know’ – that is the only reply,” argued Raju. Later, he told the court that Kejriwal had said during interrogation that Vijay Nair – former head of communications for the AAP and arrested in the same case – did not report to him but to AAP ministers Atishi and Saurabh Bhardwaj. Both the AAP leaders, sitting in the second row of the courtroom, smiled at this and exchanged glancers. This was the first time their names had been mentioned during arguments.

As with the previous hearing, the ASG said again that Kejriwal was not handing over the passwords to his digital devices. The Indian Express had reported yesterday that because Kejriwal had switched off his phone and refused to share his password, the ED had contacted Apple, the manufacturer of the CM’s phone, to obtain access to it. However, Apple reportedly told ED that a password was necessary for retrieving any data. 

Earlier, the ED had accused the chief minister of being the “kingpin” of the alleged scam, and said that the AAP used kickbacks received from it to fund the party’s campaign for the Goa assembly elections. In a speech at the last hearing, Kejriwal accused the ED of being “out to crush the AAP” and “create a smokescreen for its own extortion. 

Kejriwal’s applications

The first application made by Kejriwal’s lawyers to the court was to grant permission for him to carry prescribed medicines in jail. The second request was permission to take along copies of the Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana, and How Prime Ministers Decide. The third request was to keep a religious locket with him, and the fourth was permission for a special diet. 

The lawyers also requested that Kejriwal’s wife Sunita, who was present in the courtroom, be allowed to visit her husband. This was granted; details on the other four requests will be out this evening.

Notably, Sunita Kejriwal had read out a letter from Kejriwal at the ‘Loktantra Bachao Maharally’ yesterday, where he said, “I am in jail, here I get a lot of time to think, I get broken sleep at night. I think for Mother,” before promising six guarantees to the people of India. Watch this video for more.

Also see
article imageOpposition sounds poll bugle: 2 empty chairs, letter from jail, 21 speakers, and a Bollywood number
article imagePrimetime show or media trial? News channels discuss Kejriwal’s ‘Holi with ED’, AAP ‘collapse’


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