CBI grills Kejriwal for 9 hours, asks 56 questions


Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal left the CBI office in the national capital after nine hours of questioning in the liquor policy case on Sunday evening.
Emerging after the questioning Kejriwal told the mediapersons that the CBI asked him around 56 questions on the excise policy case and that he answered them all.
Kejriwal arrived at the CBI office for questioning at around 11 am. He was accompanied by Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and other party leaders.
Kejriwal visited Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial at Raj Ghat this morning and was accompanied by his Punjab counterpart Bhagwant Mann and some cabinet colleagues to the CBI office.
While he was being questioned, several senior AAP leaders were “detained” by the Delhi Police while they were holding a sit-in at Archbishop Road against his summoning.
The detainees included Rajya Sabha MPs Sanjay Singh and Raghav Chadha, Delhi ministers Saurabh Bharadwaj, Atishi and Kailash Gahlot, AAP spokesperson Adil Ahmad Khan, AAP general secretary Pankaj Gupta and some ministers in the Punjab government. “The Delhi Police has arrested us for sitting peacefully and is taking us to some unknown place… what kind of dictatorship is this?” Chadha tweeted.
“BJP suffers from chronic Kejriwal-phobia,” he alleged.
Mann, who also joined the sit-in, had left the spot before the AAP leaders’ detention.
“Around 1,500 people have been detained or arrested by police across Delhi for staging protests. Thirty-two Delhi MLAs and 70 councillors have been arrested in the city and 20 Punjab AAP MLAs have been arrested at Delhi border,” AAP Delhi convener Gopal Rai claimed at a press conference.
After arriving at the agency headquarters, Kejriwal was taken to the first-floor office of the Anti-Corruption Branch of the CBI, which is probing the matter.
Senior officials of the agency remained present in the office on Sunday to keep an eye on the development, a normal course whenever a VIP comes to the agency, they said.
During the day, Kejriwal was offered a lunch break and he chose not to go outside the CBI office, sources said.
AAP leader Manish Sisodia was arrested on February 26 after nearly eight hours of questioning in the case with officials saying his answers were not satisfactory. He quit as deputy chief minister of Delhi on February 28.
“I have been summoned by CBI today and I will give all the answers with honesty. These people are very powerful. They can send anyone to jail, it does not matter if that person has committed any crime or not,” Kejriwal said on Sunday.
“Since yesterday, all of their leaders are screaming at top of their voices that Kejriwal will be arrested and I think BJP has instructed CBI also that Kejriwal should be arrested. If BJP has given an order, then who is CBI? CBI is going to arrest me,” he said.
The agency had summoned Kejriwal on Friday last seeking his appearance as a witness before the investigation team to answer their queries on the inputs generated during the probe in which his former deputy Manish Sisodia was also arrested on February 26, the sources said.
They said the CBI may ask the chief minister about the policy formulation process, especially the “untraceable” file, which was earlier slated to be put before the Council of Ministers.
They said the file containing opinions of the expert committee and public and legal opinions on it was not kept before the council and remains untraceable.
The agency may also quiz Kejriwal on the statements of other accused, where they have indicated the manner in which policy was allegedly influenced to favour some liquor businessmen and the South liquor lobby, they said.
In addition, the officials said the agency might also seek his role in formulating the excise policy and his knowledge about the alleged influence being cast by the traders and South lobby members.
Kejriwal may also be asked if he was involved in the formulation of the policy before it was approved, they said.