The Enforcement Directorate has summoned Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to appear before it on November 2 in connection with the Delhi excise policy case, reported PTI.
The Enforcement Directorate’s case is based on a first information report registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation, which alleged irregularities in the Aam Aadmi Party government’s now-scrapped excise policy. The Central Bureau of Investigation had questioned Kejriwal for nearly nine hours on April 16.
The Aam Aadmi Party supremo has now been summoned for interrogation under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. His name is mentioned multiple times in the Enforcement Directorate chargesheet, which states that the accused persons were in touch with the chief minister for the preparation of the policy, PTI reported.
The Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate have alleged that the Aam Aadmi Party modified the liquor excise policy to ensure a 12% profit margin for wholesalers and a nearly 185% profit margin for retailers.
The Enforcement Directorate has also claimed that members of a so-called South Group had paid at least Rs 100 crore in kickbacks to leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party through businessman Vijay Nair. The agency also alleged that the “South Group secured uninhibited access, attained stakes in established wholesale businesses and multiple retail zones [over and above what was allowed in the policy]”.
Sisodia handled 18 portfolios, including the excise department, when the liquor policy was implemented. He was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation on February 26, and the Enforcement Directorate on March 9.
On Monday, the Supreme Court rejected the former Delhi deputy chief minister’s bail petition, stating that the authorities have tentatively established a money trail worth Rs 338 crores.
The Enforcement Directorate has claimed that 14 wholesale distributors had accrued the money after the increase in their commission to 12% from the earlier 5% under the old excise policy, reported The Indian Express.
The central agency argued that this “would constitute proceeds of crime” as the wholesale distributors unlawfully benefited from “illegal gains” at the expense of the government exchequer and consumers.
AAP’s reaction to ED summons
After the latest summons to Kejriwal, party leader Saurabh Bharadwaj said that the Bharatiya Janata Party was using every means to arrest the chief minister.
“The central government has only one intention – to end the AAP by any means,” he said in a video posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “For this, they are leaving no stone unturned.”
Atishi, the minister of education in Delhi, said that the BJP was scared of the work being done by the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi and Punjab.
“This is why the BJP wants to fabricate false cases to put AAP leaders in jail, and crush the party,” she added. “As part of this conspiracy, ED has summoned Kejriwal. The BJP wants to arrest him in a false case. We want to tell the BJP that we are not scared of false cases and going to jail.”