Arvind Kejriwal summoned for questioning by Enforcement Directorate on November 2 in Delhi liquor policy case
New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate on Monday summoned Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for questioning on November 2 in the Delhi liquor policy case. Kejriwal (55) has been issued the summons under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and according to the sources, the agency will record his statement once he deposes before the investigating officer of the case in Delhi.
The Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) national convenor has been asked to depose at the ED’s Delhi office at 11 am on November 2, the sources said. This is the first time that Kejriwal has been summoned by the ED. He was questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the case in April.
Notably, the summons was issued hours after the Supreme Court rejected the bail plea of his former Deputy Manish Sisodia, who is the prime accused in the case.
To recall, on February 26, 2023, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested Manish Sisodia for his alleged role in the Delhi excise policy “scam”. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested Sisodia in a money-laundering case stemming from the CBI’s FIR on March 9. On March 31, the Trial court rejected Sisodia’s bail plea in the CBI’s corruption case. Delhi High Court rejected Sisodia’s bail plea in the CBI case on May 30.
A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and SVN Bhatti, which termed several charges levelled by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) against Sisodia as debatable, said, “However, there is one clear ground or charge in the complaint filed under the PML Act, which is free from perceptible legal challenge and the facts as alleged are tentatively supported by material and evidence.”
It referred to the CBI’s charge sheet, which said the excess amount of 7 per cent commission/fee earned by the wholesale distributors of Rs 338 crore constitute an offence as defined under section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, which relates to a public servant being bribed.
The bench said as per the ED’s complaint, the amount of Rs 338 crore constituted the proceeds of crime.
“This amount was earned by the wholesale distributors in a span of ten months. This figure cannot be disputed or challenged. Thus, the new excise policy was meant to give windfall gains to select few wholesale distributors, who in turn had agreed to give kickbacks and bribes,” the bench noted from the CBI’s charge sheet, adding, the “conspiracy and involvement of the appellant Manish Sisodia is well established”.