4 Mar 2024

Will Arvind Kejriwal Finally Cooperate with ED Probe? What AAP Said? What ED said?

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has acknowledged the eighth summons from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) regarding the money laundering investigation into irregularities in the Delhi excise policy case. Despite contesting the legality of the summons, Kejriwal has expressed his readiness to address the probe agency's inquiries and proposed a date after March 12.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has stated that Kejriwal will participate in the hearing via video conferencing. This decision follows the ED's issuance of the eighth summons on February 27, with March 4 initially set as the date for Kejriwal to appear at the agency's headquarters.

No provision for interrogation through video conferencing: ED

However, the probe agency is adamant about physically questioning the Delhi Chief Minister. The ED has said that there is no provision for interrogation through video conferencing. 

The ongoing investigation focuses on alleged irregularities in the formulation and execution of the Delhi excise policy (2021-22). The ED is seeking Kejriwal's statement on matters related to policy formulation and allegations of bribery.

Having previously dismissed seven ED summonses as "illegal and politically motivated," Kejriwal, through the AAP, has urged the ED to refrain from issuing further summonses and to await the court's decision.

The excise policy, designed to modernize the liquor business in the national capital with promised discounts and offers, faced setbacks after Delhi Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena ordered an investigation into alleged irregularities, leading to the policy's cancellation. 

The AAP alleges that Anil Baijal, Saxena's predecessor, made last-minute changes adversely impacting the policy's revenue expectations.

Two prominent AAP leaders, Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh, are already in judicial custody in connection with the case. Sisodia, the former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister, was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on February 26 last year, while Singh, a Rajya Sabha member, was arrested by the ED on October 5.

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