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  India   All India  16 Mar 2024  Court refuses to stay summons against Kejriwal

Court refuses to stay summons against Kejriwal

Published : Mar 16, 2024, 2:11 am IST
Updated : Mar 16, 2024, 2:11 am IST

Additional chief metropolitan magistrate Divya Malhotra had issued summons to Mr Kejriwal in two separate complaint cases filed by the ED

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. (PTI)
 Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. (PTI)

New Delhi: In a setback to Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, a sessions court on Friday rejected his plea seeking stay on the proceedings before the magisterial court in a case filed by the Enforcement Directorate against him for skipping the agency's summons in connection with the now-scraped Delhi excise policy case.

Regarding Mr Kejriwal’s plea seeking exemption from personal appearance before the magisterial court, special judge Rakesh Syal said that the Delhi CM can file an application for the same before the magisterial court itself.

Additional chief metropolitan magistrate (ACMM) Divya Malhotra had issued summons to Mr Kejriwal in two separate complaint cases filed by the ED. While the first summons was issued to him on February 7, the summons for the second complaint was issued on March 7. The ACMM is slated to take up both of these matters on March 16.

The ED filed the complaint cases against Mr Kejriwal after he repeatedly failed to join the investigation in the excise policy case despite the issuance of summonses to him under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The AAP national convenor joined the proceedings before the ACMM on February 17 through virtual conference mode and stated that he will appear before the court in person on March 16. However, just two days before the hearing, Mr Kejriwal chose to file his pleas before the sessions court, challenging both the orders of ACMM and the summonses issued to him on the complaints moved by ED.

Senior advocate Ramesh Gupta, along with advocate Rajiv Mohan, appeared for the Delhi chief minister and asserted that Mr Kejriwal had not skipped any summons issued to him on account of personal reasons.

“Mr Kejriwal is a public servant. They say he was summoned in his personal capacity, but I will demonstrate from the record that the summonses were sent to him in a case that was registered pursuant to an excise policy that came into being when he was the chief minister... I never said mujhe apni behen ki beti ki shaadi me jaana hai (I never said I have to go to a relative's wedding). I said I have my official duties... I have not failed (to attend summonses), I have explained the reasons, so there is no wilful skipping,” Mr Gupta argued.

Senior AAP leaders Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh are already in custody in the Delhi excise policy case. The AAP has been alleging that the ED wants to arrest Mr Kejriwal before the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

The ED’s money laundering probe stems from a case registered by the CBI on August 17, 2022, in connection with alleged irregularities in the Delhi excise policy for 2021-22. The CBI case was registered on a complaint made by lieutenant-governor V.K. Saxena on July 20, 2022. The ED subsequently registered a case on the money laundering angle against the accused persons on August 22, 2022.

It has been alleged that a criminal conspiracy was hatched by AAP leaders, including Mr Sisodia and other unidentified and unnamed private persons or entities, during the stage of the policy’s formulation.

The conspiracy, it has been alleged, stemmed from some of the loopholes “intentionally” left or created in the policy. These were allegedly meant to favour some licensees and conspirators after the tender process.

The kickbacks are alleged to have been paid through hawala channels by a few persons in the liquor business from South India to some public servants of the AAP to achieve the objectives of “monopoly and cartelisation” among liquor manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers.

Tags: arvind kejriwal, enforcement dirctorate, ed summons
Location: India, Delhi