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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 17 April 2024

Arvind Kejriwal issued summons for seventh time by Enforcement Directorate in Delhi liquor policy case

The Delhi CM has been asked to depose on February 26 and record his statement in the excise policy linked money laundering case

PTI New Delhi Published 22.02.24, 11:27 AM
Arvind Kejriwal

Arvind Kejriwal File

The Enforcement Directorate has issued fresh summons to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, asking him to appear before it on February 26 for questioning in the excise policy linked money laundering case, official sources said Thursday.

The central agency, while issuing the seventh summons under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), has rejected Kejriwal's contention that a fresh notice for his attendance was wrong as the matter of the issuance of these summons was sub-judice before a local court.

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Kejriwal has skipped all the summons, terming them as "illegal" and has written to the ED seeking their withdrawal.

The ED had recently filed a fresh complaint before a local court against the 55-year-old national convenor of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for disobeying its summons in this case.

The court listed the matter for further hearing on March 16 as it exempted Kejriwal from personal appearance last week.

The court also said that from the contents of the complaint and the material placed on record (by the ED), prima facie offence under Section 174 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) is made out and there are sufficient grounds for proceeding against the accused (Kejriwal).

The ED believes that the local court has prima facie held Kejriwal guilty of "disobeying" the earlier notices issued to him in this case, warranting the seventh summons, official sources said.

The question in front of the court is not about the validity of the summons rather the illegal act on part of Kejriwal of intentionally disobeying the said summons, the sources had said.

Kejriwal's name has been mentioned multiple times in charge sheets filed by the ED in the case. The agency has said that the accused were in touch with him regarding the preparation of the now-scrapped Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22.

AAP leaders Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh apart from communications in-charge of the party Vijay Nair have been arrested in this case by the ED till now.

The ED had claimed in its charge sheet that the AAP used "proceeds of crime" to the tune of about Rs 45 crore in its Goa election campaign.

The agency is also expected to file a fresh supplementary charge sheet in the case and may name the AAP as a "beneficiary" of the alleged kickbacks that were generated through the excise policy.

It is alleged that the Delhi government's excise policy for 2021-22 to grant licences to liquor traders allowed cartelisation and favoured certain dealers who had allegedly paid bribes for it, a charge repeatedly refuted by the AAP.

The policy was subsequently scrapped and Delhi Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena recommended a CBI probe, following which the ED registered a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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