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Excise policy case: ED issues seventh summons to Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal

On February 17, the first day of hearing of the ED case, the court gave Kejriwal exemption from appearing in person while posting the case for March 16.
Last Updated 22 February 2024, 05:30 IST

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate has issued fresh summons to the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, after he ignored six of them, and asked him to appear before the investigators in connection with a money laundering case linked to the controversial Delhi excise policy.

The issuance of the seventh notice came as the ED rejected Kejriwal's contention that the matter of his appearance is sub-judice before a local court. The agency has insisted that it has the right to summon him while arguing that the case is about his non-appearance and not about the validity of the summons issued to him.

The AAP chief was summoned on November 2 and December 21 in 2023, and then later on January 3, January 18, February 2 and 17 this year, but he refused to appear before it, claiming that the ED summons were illegal.

Responding to the summons, senior AAP leader Jasmine Shah alleged that the ED is working at the whims of the BJP government. He claimed that the BJP also wanted to divert attention from the setback it received from the Supreme Court on Chandigarh mayoral polls.

“There is no legal strategy for the ED and the intent is to defame Kejriwal…Also, the talks within the I.N.D.I.A bloc, between Congress and AAP are progressing smoothly. The BJP is worried that it does not augur well for them in the Lok Sabha polls,” he said.

The ED had in court claimed that Kejriwal intentionally disobeyed each summons, which were issued as part of a probe into the money laundering case linked to irregularities in the now scrapped Delhi excise police.

On February 17, the first day of hearing of the ED case, the court gave Kejriwal exemption from appearing in person while posting the case for March 16. The court also said that there are sufficient grounds for proceeding against Kejriwal after examining the material placed on record by the ED.

In his letters to ED earlier, Kejriwal has said that the agency's summons was not in consonance with law and sent for "extraneous considerations" at the behest of ruling BJP to create "sensational news" in the run up to the Lok Sabha elections.

Though not named as an accused in the chargesheet, Kejriwal's name has been mentioned multiple times. The ED had claimed that the accused were in touch with the Chief Minister regarding the preparation of the excise policy.

Former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh among others were arrested in this case by the ED.

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(Published 22 February 2024, 05:30 IST)

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