Enforcement Directorate Opposes Arvind Kejriwal’s Request

'Arvind Kejriwal Eating Sweets, Mangoes,' Claims Probe Agency In Court

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal (File).

New Delhi:

The Enforcement Directorate has opposed a request by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal – in Tihar Jail following his arrest last month on corruption charges – to consult his regular doctor via a videoconference. Mr Kejriwal is a Type 2 diabetic and has received medication while in jail, but his Aam Aadmi Party has expressed concern over fluctuating blood sugar levels and weight loss.

Heard by Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court, the plea was rubbished by the federal agency, which alleged the AAP leader – despite claims about ill health – partakes freely of sweets and mangoes; neither is advised for diabetes patients. The ED claimed Mr Kejriwal was laying the ground for a bail appeal.

“Diet chart has mangoes and sweets on it… it has been placed before the court. (Mr Kejriwal) is regularly consuming foods not permitted for any diabetic patient,” Zuhaib Hussain, the ED’s legal counsel, said after the hearing. “The person is in court’s custody… and court has to ensure their safety.”

Mr Kejriwal’s legal team has, however, insisted that all food items on the Chief Minister’s diet chart had been prescribed by his doctor. His lawyer accused the ED of cooking up excuses to stop the supply of home-cooked food, which was permitted by the court in view of the AAP leader’s diabetes.

READ | AAP Says Kejriwal’s Health Deteriorated In Probe Agency Custody

“He is only eating what is prescribed by doctors. ED is trying to stop supply of home-cooked food. This concerns the health of the Chief Minister…” Vivek Jain, the AAP leader’s lawyer, told reporters.

The court has sought a report from the jail authorities and adjourned the matter for Friday.

Apart from fierce legal battles over the corruption charges, Mr Kejriwal and jail authorities are also fighting over his health. The AAP – after he was sent to Tihar Jail – claimed he had lost 4.5 kg.

READ | AAP Says Kejriwal Unwell, Lost 4.5 Kg In Jail, Officials Disagree

This was after Delhi Minister Atishi said Mr Kejriwal’s blood sugar level had dropped precipitously – to 46 Mg – at one time. Atishi said doctors had advised her such a drop is “very dangerous”.

When Mr Kejriwal was sent to jail under judicial custody, the court recognised his illness and allowed home-cooked food and bottled water, and a supply of toffees in case of a sudden blood sugar fall.

READ | Arvind Kejriwal In 14×8 Feet Cell. See What All Court Has Allowed

He was also given access to bed linen from home and medical equipment to monitor his health.

READ | Up At 6:30, Dal, Sabzi For Lunch, Dinner: Kejriwal’s Tihar Routine

Arvind Kejriwal was arrested by the ED on March 21 in connection with the alleged liquor policy scam in the national capital. The probe agency believes the Chief Minister played a key role in drafting the now-scrapped policy and seeking bribes, or kickbacks, in return for liquor licences.

The ED has claimed the AAP received Rs 600 crore in this manner – a majority from a ‘south group’ led by BRS lawmaker K Kavitha (also in Tihar Jail) – and used some of this to fund its Goa and Punjab election campaigns. Apart from Mr Kejriwal (and Ms Kavitha), former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh were also arrested. Mr Singh has received bail.

READ | Kejriwal To Stay In Jail For Now, Top Court Refuses Early Hearing

Arvind Kejriwal has challenged his arrest in the Supreme Court. However, the top court has refused an early hearing. He must now wait till April 29, when the court reconvenes to hear the ED’s reply.

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