Delhi HC Seeks Tihar’s Response to Kejriwal’s Request for Additional Legal Meetings

The Delhi High Court, on July 8, directed the Tihar Jail authorities to respond to a plea by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who is currently detained in connection with the Delhi excise scam cases. Kejriwal is seeking permission for additional virtual meetings with his lawyers. Justice Neena Bansal Krishna has given the prison officials five days to file their response, with the matter scheduled for further arguments on July 15.

The plea challenges a July 1 decision by a trial court that denied Kejriwal’s request for two additional weekly meetings via video conference with his legal team. Currently, the Aam Aadmi Party leader, who is also the party’s national convener, is permitted two such meetings each week.

Kejriwal’s legal counsel argued that, given the AAP leader is embroiled in approximately 35 legal cases nationwide, additional meetings are necessary to ensure his right to a fair trial. The Enforcement Directorate’s counsel also expressed an intention to respond to Kejriwal’s application.

The jail authorities’ lawyer responded in court, stating that the existing rule of two meetings per week applies uniformly to all prisoners, and asserted that there was no immediate need for more frequent meetings as not all 35 cases are active simultaneously each week.

This plea was initially rejected by the trial court, which stated that the counsel for Kejriwal had not sufficiently demonstrated entitlement to additional meetings based on the grounds previously considered and ruled upon.

In parallel legal actions, Kejriwal has also challenged his arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the excise policy corruption case and has filed for bail. These petitions are still pending before the high court.

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Arvind Kejriwal was first arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on March 21 and was later apprehended by the CBI on June 26 from Tihar Jail, where he was already in judicial custody due to a related money laundering case. Although the trial court granted him bail on June 20 in the money laundering case, this was stayed by the high court.

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