New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued a fifth summons to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the money laundering probe related to irregularities in the Delhi excise policy 2021-22 case, asking him to join the investigation on February 2.
The fresh summons to the Delhi CM followed the fourth summons which he had skipped on January 18.
Kejriwal has so far skipped four previous summons issued by the ED on January 18, January 3, November 2, and December 22, calling them “illegal and politically motivated.”
The ED wants to record Kejriwal’s statement in the case on issues like the formulation of policy, meetings held before it was finalized, and allegations of bribery.
While skipping the fourth summons issued by the ED, Kejriwal termed it “illegal,” saying he was ready to cooperate, but the agency intended to arrest him and stop him from election campaigning.
“All four notices sent to me (by the ED) are illegal and invalid in the eyes of the law. Whenever such general, non-specific notices were sent by the ED in the past, they were quashed and declared invalid by courts. These notices are being sent as part of a political conspiracy,” Kejriwal said after skipping the fourth notice.
The case against the Aam Aadmi Party supremo is based on a First Information Report (FIR) alleging multiple irregularities in the formation and implementation of the Delhi excise policy (2021-22) by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The policy was withdrawn after allegations of corruption.
In its sixth charge sheet filed in the case on December 2, 2023, naming AAP leader Sanjay Singh and his aide Sarvesh Mishra, the ED has claimed that the AAP used kickbacks worth Rs 45 crore generated via the policy as part of its assembly elections campaign in Goa in 2022.
On Kejriwal’s role, one of the six charge sheets filed in January 2023 states that Kejriwal told businessman Sameer Mahendru that former AAP communications in-charge Vijay Nair “is his boy” and that he should trust him.
The excise policy was aimed at revitalizing the city’s flagging liquor business and replacing a sales-volume-based regime with a licence fee for traders. It promised swankier stores and a better buying experience. The policy introduced discounts and offers on the purchase of liquor for the first time in Delhi. (IANS)