NEW DELHI: In a significant turn of events, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday carried out raids around a dozen locations in Delhi linked to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Rajya Sabha MP N D Gupta, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s personal secretary Bibhav Kumar and former Delhi Jal Board (DJB) member Shalabh Kumar, for their alleged involvement in a money laundering case.
The raids, carried out under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), is in connection with an investigation linked to alleged irregularities in the tendering process of the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) in which the ED apprehended retired chief engineer Jagdish Kumar Arora and contractor Anil Kumar Aggarwal last week.
A special PMLA court on Monday extended their remand by five more days after the ED claimed that their further custodial interrogation was required to unravel the "larger conspiracy".
Responding to it, the AAP alleged that the raids came as a response to an exposé against the agency scheduled by AAP senior leader and Delhi Cabinet Minister Atishi.
While addressing a press conference on Tuesday morning, Atishi launched a scathing attack on the ED by accusing it of resorting to intimidation tactics and corruption to silence the AAP.
Meanwhile, the ED refuted these allegations by calling them “baseless and malicious”, adding that the agency was looking into taking legal action against the Delhi Minister.
Condemning the raids, Atishi fired shots towards the BJP-led central government and the ED by accusing them of blatantly attempting to silence dissent and intimidate the opposition.
This move comes in the wake of a complaint lodged by the ED against Kejriwal for non-appearance to its repeated summons in the Delhi liquor policy case.
Notably, the ED is investigating two separate incidents of irregularities in the tendering process of the DJB and its criminal case stems from an FIR of the CBI and from the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) of the Delhi government.