ED charge sheet in excise policy case: AAP claims 'big conspiracy' to finish it off

AAP in a statement alleged that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) was functioning as a "political wing" of the BJP and claimed there was no money trail in the case.
Last Updated : 09 July 2024, 16:31 IST

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New Delhi: The BJP-led Centre is hatching a "big conspiracy" against AAP, its national secretary Pankaj Gupta alleged on Tuesday over a supplementary ED charge sheet naming the party in the alleged excise policy scam.

Gupta also accused the BJP of wanting to finish off AAP, which governs Punjab and Delhi, at any cost.

AAP in a statement alleged that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) was functioning as a "political wing" of the BJP and claimed there was no money trail in the case.

"The ED's intention from the very beginning of this fake investigation was to frame AAP, arrest all its top leaders and crush the party. The BJP sees AAP as the biggest threat and has deployed the ED and the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) to ensure AAP is finished," the party charged.

The party said it suspected the intention of the ED's "mission" was to "cripple AAP and stop its functioning" and claimed it would now proceed to "seize" all properties and bank accounts of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and AAP, causing "huge harassment and injustice" to a national party.

Over the last two years of this investigation, the ED and the CBI have framed a false case in the courts while the BJP has run a false narrative in public against AAP and its leaders, the party alleged.

The BJP's Delhi president Virendra Sachdeva hit back at AAP over its allegations and said Kejriwal should have shown moral courage after his party was named in the "liquor scam".

With the court taking cognisance of the ED charge sheet, he has lost all authority to continue as Delhi chief minister, the BJP leader said.

"This charge sheet itself says that Arvind Kejriwal is the main beneficiary and conspirator of the liquor scam and the court summoning Kejriwal clearly establishes that prima facie the court has found some evidence to believe in the allegations of the ED on the Delhi chief minister," he said.

A city court on Tuesday took cognisance of the seventh supplementary charge sheet filed by the ED in the money-laundering case linked to the alleged excise policy "scam".

The federal probe agency has named Kejriwal and AAP in the supplementary charge sheet.

The anti-money laundering agency arrested Kejriwal, also the national convenor of AAP, from his official residence in Delhi on March 21. He is currently lodged in Tihar jail under judicial custody.

It has alleged that Kejriwal was the "kingpin and key conspirator" of the excise "scam" and was "vicariously responsible" for it.

The AAP said the ED, despite probing into the case for two years, conducting 500 raids and submitting charge sheets, could not show recovery of even one rupee from any party leader.

Statements of the co-accused cannot be a starting point for ascertainment of guilt of an accused, said the party.

"The entire case of the ED is built on statements of accused turned approvers, which suffer from grave defects. First, most of these approvers have strong links to the BJP. Second, these persons have made statements contradicting their earlier statements," it claimed.

AAP charged that the ED had selectively used evidence and concealed exculpatory evidence.

"While arresting Arvind Kejriwal, the ED intentionally omitted statements and evidence that were exculpatory and indicated his innocence, for no rhyme or reason. These statements were wilfully concealed from the accused persons as well as the court," it charged.

All the statements based on which the ED arrested Kejriwal were taken before July 2023, AAP said.

"Then why did it wait eight months to arrest him just before the commencement of the general elections? The same evidence was shown to the Supreme Court during Manish Sisodia's bail hearing. On the same evidence, the Supreme Court has held that no involvement of Manish Sisodia was found in connection with the alleged transfer of Rs 45 crores," the AAP further said.

The party alleged the ED was changing its stance "conveniently" in the case.

"The ED had previously said Kejriwal was not an accused till March 16, 2024. But after the high court did not grant him interim relief, it proceeded to arrest him by making a leap and omitting to record his statement under Section 50," it said.

Published 09 July 2024, 16:31 IST

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