Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has decided not to appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for questioning, citing the notice as illegal. Kejriwal has instead sent a written reply to the ED, asserting his willingness to cooperate while expressing concerns over the alleged intention behind the notice.
“Ready to cooperate in ED investigation but the agency’s notice is illegal. Their intention is to arrest Arvind Kejriwal. They want to stop him from election campaign,” ANI quoted an AAP official as saying.
The ED had issued a summons to Kejriwal for questioning on January 3 in connection with an excise policy-linked money laundering case. This is the third time Kejriwal has refused to appear before the federal agency. The two earlier summonses were for November 2 and December 21.
BJP national spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla claimed that Kejriwal’s decision to ED summons “shows that there is something to hide, and that is why he is acting like an absconder.”
“Courts have not given bail to Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh, and the courts have established that there is a money trail, despite all this they are playing the same victim card,” he added.
Earlier on Tuesday, AAP’s chief national spokesperson Priyanka Kakkar said that the party will act according to the law over the ED’s summons to Kejriwal.
Kakkar was asked during a press conference if Kejriwal would appear before the ED for questioning.
“Our legal team will be better equipped to answer this question. We will act as per the law,” she said.
In February 2023, then Delhi deputy CM Manish Sisodia was arrested by the CBI for alleged irregularities in the framing and implementation of the now-scrapped Delhi’s new excise policy. The policy was withdrawn amid allegations of foul play by the opposition. AAP Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh was also arrested in the same case in October 2023.
At least 14 people have so far been arrested by the agency, and ED has approached the court seeking permission to investigate AAP as a beneficiary of the “proceeds of crime”.
Article source: hindustantimes.com