Vijay Nair used to report to Atishi, Bharadwaj: CM Kejriwal’s statement to ED

New Delhi (IANS) The ED’s application for judicial custody of the Delhi Chief Minister in the excise policy case has said that in his statement Arvind Kejriwal claimed that one of the accused, Vijay Nair, used to report to AAP leaders Atishi and Saurabh Bharadwaj and not to him.

Former AAP communications incharge, Vijay Nair, was arrested by the probe agency along with members of the South Group – K Kavitha, Sarath Reddy, Raghav Magunta, and Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy and other AAP leaders Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh in the excise policy case.

“During the custodial interrogation of the arrestee (CM Kejriwal), his multiple statements were recorded. He is found to be giving evasive replies and concealing information during the custodial interrogation,” read the ED’s judicial custody application.

The ED said that on being asked about the extent of Vijay Nair’s interaction and reporting, CM Kejriwal stated that Nair didn't report to him but to ministers Atishi and Bharadwaj and his interaction with the communications incharge was limited.

“However, the statements by Vijay Nair reveal that he stayed in a Cabinet Minister's bungalow and worked from the Camp Office of the CM. It was also put to the arrestee to explain why would someone who reported to other leaders of the AAP, work from his Camp Office, which anyways is meant for the work of the CM of Delhi and not for the party,” read the ED’s judicial custody application in the court on Monday.

The financial probe agency further said that CM Kejriwal evaded this question by claiming that he was unaware of who all work at the CM’s Camp Office.

“It is noteworthy that Vijay Nair is not some small time volunteer of the AAP but is its Head of Media and Communications. He (CM Kejriwal) was also shown different WhatsApp chats showing the involvement of Vijay Nair, who was a close associate of the arrestee and lived and worked very closely with the arrestee,” it read.

“The arrestee has not answered the questions posed to him by questioning the authenticity of digital evidence shown to him. The arrestee also did not reveal the passwords of his digital devices which inhibits the evidence collection and also shows the non-cooperation of the arrestee,” it further read.

The ED said that during his custodial interrogation, CM Kejriwal was shown the evidence of more than 10 meetings of Vijay Nair with other co-accused involved in the liquor business, including manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and even middlemen like Dinesh Arora and Abhishek Boinpally.

“It was put to the arrestee to explain the authority with which Vijay Nair attended these meetings, the arrestee evaded the question by claiming unawareness of these persons. It is clear that a senior functionary like Vijay Nair who closely worked with the arrestee wouldn't be able to assert himself without the sanction and approval of the head of the party. This is also because the ultimate benefit of these conspiracies/meetings was reaped by the AAP in the Goa election campaign,” it added.

A Delhi court on Monday sent CM Kejriwal to judicial custody till April 15, while the AAP supremo moved an application asking to be provided with three books -- Ramayana and Bhagvad Gita and How Prime Ministers Decide.

He was produced before Special Judge Kaveri Baweja of the Rouse Avenue Court on expiry of his ED custody in connection with the money laundering case related to the alleged excise policy scam.

On March 28, Special Judge Baweja had extended his ED custody, holding that there were "sufficient reasons." However, she had allowed him to meet his family members and lawyers.

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