Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court is scheduled to today hear the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) complaint against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for his alleged non-compliance with the agency’s summons in the money laundering case related to the liquor policy, as per an ANI report.
The ED moved to take legal action on February 3, when the court considered some submissions and scheduled the next hearing for February 7, to address the remaining submissions and considerations in the case.
The Delhi CM has now skipped ED summons for the fifth time, concerning the money laundering probe connected to irregularities in the Delhi excise policy for 2021-22. He had previously ignored four summons issued on January 18, January 3, November 2, and December 22, dismissing them as “illegal and politically motivated.”
The ED aims to record Kejriwal’s statement on matters such as policy formulation, pre-finalization meetings, and allegations of bribery.
Following Kejriwal’s repeated non-compliance, BJP leader Dilip Ghosh suggested that fear is the reason behind the Delhi CM’s refusal to visit the probe agency’s office. Ghosh emphasized that the ED’s role is to investigate, and the reason for an investigation can vary. He advised Kejriwal to engage in the legal process if he believed the summons were illegal.
“ED keeps calling because their job is to investigate. The reason for an investigation can be anything. To get some information. Many people have not gone there even after ten times in West Bengal. And those who went never came out. He is not going there out of fear. There is a legal process going on in the court. Go to the court,” Ghosh said.
ED’s Allegations and Previous Charge Sheet
In its sixth charge sheet filed on December 2, 2023, the ED named AAP leader Sanjay Singh and his aide Sarvesh Mishra. The agency claims that the AAP utilized kickbacks amounting to ₹45 crore, generated through the policy, for its assembly elections campaign in Goa in 2022.
The excise policy aimed to revive Delhi’s liquor business by transitioning from a sales-volume-based regime to a trader’s license fee. Additionally, it introduced discounts and offers on liquor purchases, for the first time in the city.
Two senior AAP leaders, Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh, are already in judicial custody. Sisodia, the former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister, was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on February 26, while Singh, a Rajya Sabha member, was arrested by the ED on October 5.
Article source: livemint.com