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Delhi CM Kejriwal Faces 7th Summons from ED in Excise Policy Probe

kejriwal

New Delhi, February 22, 2024 — The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has escalated its scrutiny of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal by issuing a seventh summons in connection with the Delhi excise policy probe. The summons, delivered on Thursday, mandates Kejriwal’s appearance before the agency on February 26 for questioning related to alleged money laundering linked to the excise policy.

Background

The financial crimes probe agency has been diligently investigating the excise policy, which aimed to revitalize Delhi’s liquor business. Here are the key points:

  1. Bribe Allegations: The ED alleges that kickbacks worth ₹45 crore were generated via the excise policy and were subsequently used for the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) assembly elections campaign in Goa in 20221. The findings indicate that AAP leaders directly benefited from these funds.
  2. Kejriwal’s Role: In one of the charge sheets filed by the ED, they attribute the excise policy to Kejriwal as his “brainchild”. The agency seeks to understand the alleged bribe amounts that flowed into the AAP and other leaders through this policy.
  3. Disobedience of Summons: Kejriwal has consistently avoided interrogation by the ED since November 2 last year. His repeated non-compliance led the agency to approach the court against him.
  4. Sanjay Singh and Sarvesh Mishra: The sixth charge sheet filed by the ED implicated AAP leader Sanjay Singh and his aide Sarvesh Mishra1. It revealed that the party utilized the kickbacks for election campaigning.

ED Claims Prima Facie Case Against Kejriwal:

According to news agency PTI, citing ED sources, a local court has prima facie held Kejriwal guilty of “disobeying” earlier summonses, paving the way for the seventh one. The agency reportedly filed a complaint before the court under Section 174 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) accusing Kejriwal of “intentionally disobeying” the first three summons.

However, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Kejriwal’s party, has maintained that the ED should wait for the court’s decision on the exemption application filed by the Chief Minister regarding his earlier summonses. The court had earlier granted him an exemption due to the ongoing budget session in the Delhi assembly, scheduling the next hearing for March 16th.

Implications on Kejriwal

The ED’s relentless pursuit of answers underscores the seriousness of the case. The agency claims that a total of ₹100 crore in bribes was paid to AAP leaders in connection with the excise policy. Both Manish Sisodia, former deputy chief minister, and Sanjay Singh, AAP Rajya Sabha MP, are currently in Tihar jail1.

The excise policy, initially designed to enhance Delhi’s liquor business, promised swankier stores and a better buying experience. However, allegations of irregularities prompted its scrapping. Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena ordered a probe into these alleged irregularities, leading to the downfall of the policy.

As the investigation continues, the ED’s focus remains on unraveling the intricate web of financial transactions and political connections surrounding the excise policy. On February 26, the agency will closely watch Kejriwal’s appearance as it seeks clarity on the alleged misuse of funds.

Disclaimer: This article is based on publicly available information and does not constitute legal advice or an official statement from the ED.

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