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Delhi CM Kejriwal skips ED summons again in excise policy case, AAP calls it 'illegal'

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will not appear before the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) for questioning in connection with an excise policy case linked to money laundering, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) sources said on Monday.
The AAP called the ED summons 'illegal' saying that the matter of the validity of the summons is now in the court.
"ED itself has gone to court. Instead of sending summons again and again, ED should wait for the court's decision," a party source said.
On February 2, Kejriwal skipped the ED's summons for the fifth time in connection with the money laundering probe related to irregularities in the Delhi excise policy 2021-22 case.
Kejriwal, on February 17, appeared before the Rouse Avenue Court via video conferencing following a complaint by the ED over his alleged non-compliance with its summons.
Kejriwal, while appearing virtually, informed the court that he wanted to join the court proceedings physically, but due to the confidence motion and budget sessions, he was unable to attend physically.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Divya Malhotra allowed the exemption plea moved by Kejriwal for Saturday and fixed March 16, 2024, for his physical appearance before the court.
The ED recently filed a fresh complaint case under sections 190 (1)(a) and 200 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, Section 174 of the Indian Penal Code, and Section 63 (4) of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for non-attendance in compliance of Section 50 of PMLA.
According to the ED, the agency wanted to record Kejriwal's statement in the case on issues like the formulation of policy, meetings held before it was finalised, and allegations of bribery.
In its sixth charge sheet filed in the case on December 2, 2023, naming AAP leader Sanjay Singh and his aide Sarvesh Mishra, the ED has claimed that the AAP used kickbacks worth Rs 45 crore generated via the policy as part of its assembly elections campaign in Goa in 2022.
The excise policy was aimed at revitalising the city's flagging liquor business and replacing a sales-volume-based regime with a licence fee for traders. It promised swankier stores and a better buying experience. The policy introduced discounts and offers on the purchase of liquor for the first time in Delhi.
Two senior AAP leaders, Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh--are already under judicial custody in the case.
Sisodia, who was the then Delhi Deputy Chief Minister, was arrested by the CBI on February 26 following several rounds of questioning. On October 5, the ED arrested Singh, who is a Rajya Sabha member.

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