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ED functioning like BJP's political wing: AAP

Its reaction came after the directorate filed a fresh charge-sheet in the case, naming Arvind Kejriwal and his AAP as accused. This is the first time that a sitting chief minister and a political party face money laundering charges.
Last Updated : 17 May 2024, 18:24 IST
Last Updated : 17 May 2024, 18:24 IST

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New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate is 'functioning like a political wing of the BJP' and the intention of the excise policy case probe is to 'frame' the AAP, the Aam Aadmi Party alleged on Friday.

Its reaction came after the directorate filed a fresh charge-sheet in the case, naming Arvind Kejriwal and his AAP as accused. This is the first time that a sitting chief minister and a political party face money laundering charges.

Official sources said a voluminous prosecution complaint has been filed before a special court here. Special Judge Kaveri Baweja is likely to take up the charge-sheet for cognisance in the coming days.

The accused have been sought to be charged under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the sources said.

The AAP claimed that not a single penny has been recovered from its leaders by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).  "The ED is functioning like a political wing of the BJP. Its intention from the very beginning of this fake investigation was to frame the AAP, arrest all its top leaders and crush the party. The ED's charge-sheet framing AAP and CM Arvind Kejriwal is part of this grand political conspiracy," the party said in a statement.

"Now all properties and bank accounts of Arvind Kejriwal and the AAP will be seized, which will further cause huge harassment and injustice," it said. 

The party alleged that 'this is the first case in the ED's history where after over two years of investigation, after over 500 raids and after filing eight charge-sheets, not a single rupee has been recovered from any AAP leaders'. 

"The entire case of the ED is built on statements of accused-turned-approvers, all of whom have links with the BJP. Whenever courts questioned the ED on the veracity of these statements, the ED had no answers," the statement said. 

The federal agency had arrested Kejriwal from his official residence here on March 21. He is currently out of jail on interim bail.

This is the eighth charge-sheet filed by the ED in this case in which it has arrested 18 people so far. Last week, a similar complaint was filed by the agency against BRS leader and former Telangana chief minister Chandrashekar Rao's daughter K Kavitha and four others.

Chief Minister Kejriwal was earlier called the 'kingpin and key conspirator' of the Delhi excise 'scam' by the ED. It was alleged that he acted in collusion with Delhi government minister, AAP leaders and others.

The AAP said, "If at all there is any money trail recovered so far in the alleged Delhi liquor scam, it is the Rs 60 crore that the kingpin of the scam, Sharath Reddy, has given to the BJP. If the ED had been doing an impartial investigation, it would have immediately arrested BJP president JP Nadda, and made BJP the prime accused in the scam." "But unfortunately, it is acting as a political wing and a mouthpiece of the BJP," the party said. 

The excise case pertains to alleged corruption and money laundering in formulating and executing the Delhi government''s excise policy for 2021-22, which was later scrapped.

Delhi Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena had recommended a CBI probe into the alleged irregularities. Subsequently, the ED registered a case under the PMLA.

Taking cognisance of a CBI FIR lodged on August 17, 2022, the ED filed its money laundering case on August 22, 2022, to probe the alleged irregularities.

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Published 17 May 2024, 18:24 IST

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