Delhi Excise Scam Case: Delhi HC seeks Enforcement Directorate’s view on CM Arvind Kejriwal’s plea against summons

Justice Suresh Kumar Kait-led bench has granted the ED a two-week period to submit its response.

Livemint, Written By Jocelyn Fernandes (with inputs from PTI)
Updated20 Mar 2024, 01:57 PM IST
File image of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal
File image of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal(Hindustan Times)

The Delhi High Court has on March 20 requested the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to provide its stance on a plea by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal contesting the summons issued to him in a case related to money laundering linked to the excise policy, PTI reported.

The investigation body argued that the petition filed by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convenor, also challenging specific sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), was not maintainable. Justice Suresh Kumar Kait-led bench has granted the ED a two-week period to submit its response.

Kejriwal has approached the court following the latest summons, the ninth issued by the ED, requiring his presence on March 21 for questioning under the provisions of PMLA. Senior advocate AM Singhvi, representing Kejriwal, highlighted various concerns in the petition, including whether a political party falls under the ambit of the anti-money laundering legislation.

The court queried the AAP leader about his non-appearance despite the summonses. The senior counsel for the petitioner stressed the necessity for protection against coercive measures due to the agency's apparent intention to apprehend him during the approaching elections.

Kejriwal has consistently refused to comply with these summonses, denouncing them as unlawful.

What is the case?

The case revolves around alleged corruption in formulating and executing the city government's excise policy for 2021-22, subsequently annulled.

Following a recommendation by Lt Governor VK Saxena, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered an FIR regarding purported corruption, leading to the initiation of a money laundering investigation. Authorities assert that irregularities occurred during the modification of the excise policy, with undue advantages granted to licence holders.

AAP leaders Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh are currently in judicial custody related to the case.

Kejriwal's name has been recurrently cited in the ED's charge sheets concerning the excise policy case. The agency alleges that the accused coordinated with Kejriwal in formulating the excise policy, resulting in undue benefits for them, in exchange for kickbacks to AAP.

A Delhi court recently granted bail to Kejriwal in connection with two complaints filed by the ED for failing to appear for six of the previous eight summonses in the money laundering case.

The case is scheduled for its next hearing on April 22.

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First Published:20 Mar 2024, 01:57 PM IST
HomeNewsIndiaDelhi Excise Scam Case: Delhi HC seeks Enforcement Directorate’s view on CM Arvind Kejriwal’s plea against summons

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