Published On: Mon, Apr 1st, 2024

Kejriwal names Atishi, Saurabh Bharadwaj in liquor scam, claims ED

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has claimed that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal named fellow Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders and state ministers Atishi and Saurabh Bharadwaj while being questioned in connection with the liquor policy case.

Vijay Nair didn’t report to him but to Atishi Marlena and Saurabh Bharadwaj

According to the probe agency, the AAP supremo told them that “Vijay Nair didn’t report to him but to Atishi Marlena and Saurabh Bharadwaj and his interaction with Vijay Nair was limited [sic].”

Vijay Nair is the former communication-in-charge of the AAP and is among the accused in the liquor policy case.

His alleged involvement stems from his tenure as the party’s communication in-charge, coinciding with the period in which the purported scam unfolded.

The case, being investigated by both the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the ED, pertains to alleged corruption during the formulation of a liquor policy by the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government.

In its chargesheet, the ED accused Nair, of acting as a middleman for the ‘South Group,’ which allegedly provided Rs 100 crore in kickbacks to the Kejriwal government to gain entry into the liquor retail business in Delhi.

According to the ED, accused Sameer Mahendru told the probe agency officials that Nair had fixed his meeting with Kejriwal, but when it couldn’t materialise, he made him speak to the Chief Minister via video call.

“During the video call, Arvind Kejriwal told Sameer that Nair is his boy, that he can trust him and that he should carry on with Vijay,” the probe agency has alleged.

Nair was earlier arrested by the CBI and ED in connection with the case, and currently remains incarcerated.

According to ED officials, Nair is believed to be part of a larger conspiracy, with the probe agency’s investigation pointing to his collusion with Kejriwal himself.

Apart from Arvind Kejriwal, senior AAP leaders Satyendar Jain, Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh have also been arrested and are currently behind bars.

On Monday, the Rouse Avenue Court sent the Delhi Chief Minister to 14 days’ of judicial custody.

During the hearing, the Enforcement Directorate told the court that Kejriwal was being uncooperative during questioning.

“Arvind Kejriwal evaded replying to questions about why Nair worked from the Chief Minister’s Camp office by claiming unawareness of the people who work at the Chief Minister’s Camp office,” the probe agency said in its application.

“He did not reveal the password for digital devices… His conduct was totally non-cooperative. He is not giving his phone and is deliberately misleading the investigation by giving evasive replies.”


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