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Excise policy case: 7th summons issued by ED to Delhi CM

Excise policy case: 7th summons issued by ED to Delhi CM

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate has issued a new summons to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, requiring him to be present before it on February 26 for questioning in the excise policy-related money laundering case, official sources said Thursday.

The central agency, in issuing the seventh summons under the terms of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), rejected his claim that a fresh notice for his attendance was improper because the matter is pending before a local court.

Kejriwal has been asked to depose on February 26 and record his statement in the excise policy-linked money laundering case, the sources said.

The ED had recently filed a fresh complaint against the 55-year-old national convenor of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for disobeying its summons in this case.

The court listed the matter for further hearing on March 16 as it exempted him from a personal appearance last week.

The court also said that from the contents of the complaint and the material placed on record (by the ED), a prima facie offence under Section 174 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) is made out and there are sufficient grounds for proceeding against the accused (Kejriwal).

The ED believes that the local court has prima facie held Kejriwal guilty of “disobeying” the earlier notices issued to him in this case, warranting the seventh summons, official sources said.

The question in front of the court is not about the validity of the summons but rather the illegal act on the part of Kejriwal of intentionally disobeying the said three summons, the sources had said.

Kejriwal’s name has been mentioned multiple times in charge sheets filed by the ED in the case. The agency has said that the accused were in touch with him regarding the preparation of the now-scrapped Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22. AAP leaders Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh apart from communications in-charge of the party Vijay Nair have been arrested in this case by the ED till now.

The ED had claimed in its charge sheet that the AAP used “proceeds of crime” to the tune of about Rs 45 crore in its Goa election campaign.

The agency is also expected to file a fresh supplementary charge sheet in the case and may name the AAP as a “beneficiary” of the alleged kickbacks that were generated through the excise policy.

It is alleged that the Delhi government’s excise policy for 2021-22 to grant licences to liquor traders allowed cartelisation and favoured certain dealers who had allegedly paid bribes for it, a charge repeatedly refuted by the AAP.

The policy was subsequently scrapped and Delhi Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena recommended a CBI probe, following which the ED registered a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

With PTI inputs

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