Bharat Express

ED Likely to Issue 7th Summons to Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal in Excise Policy Case

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal faces new ED summons in the excise policy case after being found guilty by a local court of disobeying earlier summonses.

Arvind Kejriwal

Arvind Kejriwal

The Enforcement Directorate is anticipated to issue fresh summons to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for interrogation in the excise policy case, according to official sources. The ED sources stated that a local court recently found Kejriwal guilty of “disobeying” earlier notices, prompting the issuance of the seventh summons.

Kejriwal, aged 55, declined to appear before the federal agency for the sixth time on Monday, with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) suggesting that the ED should await the court’s decision instead of repeatedly sending summonses to the CM, who is also the party’s national convenor.

On February 17, a Delhi court granted Kejriwal exemption from personal appearance for the day in connection with a complaint filed by the central agency for disobeying its summons in the excise policy-linked money laundering case. The court scheduled the matter for March 16, and Kejriwal’s counsel assured the court of his physical appearance on that day.

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ED sources revealed that the agency had complained to Kejriwal under section 174 of the IPC for “intentionally disobeying” the first three summonses in this case. The court has acknowledged the complaint and prima facie accepted that Kejriwal committed an offense for which he could be prosecuted, the sources claimed.

The ED contends that despite the court matter being listed for March 16, the agency is justified in summoning him, as the issue pertains to Kejriwal’s intentional disobedience of the initial three summonses.

The court emphasized that the question at hand is not the validity of the summonses, but rather Kejriwal’s illegal act of intentionally disregarding the said three summonses.

Kejriwal’s name has been referenced multiple times in charge sheets filed by the ED in the case. The agency alleges that the accused were in contact with him regarding the formulation of the now-revoked Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22.

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AAP leaders Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh, along with the party’s communications in-charge Vijay Nair, have been arrested in this case by the ED so far.

The ED contends in its charge sheet that the AAP utilized “proceeds of crime” amounting to approximately Rs 45 crore in its Goa election campaign.

Additionally, the agency is expected to file a fresh supplementary charge sheet in the case and may identify the AAP as a “beneficiary” of the alleged kickbacks generated through the excise policy.

The excise policy of the Delhi government for 2021-22, which granted licenses to liquor traders, is alleged to have facilitated cartelization and favored certain dealers who purportedly paid bribes for it, a claim repeatedly denied by the AAP. Subsequently, the policy was scrapped, and Delhi Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena recommended a CBI probe, leading to the ED registering a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).