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ED claims court accepted offence by Kejriwal for refusing summons, after AAP asks agency to wait for verdict

New Delhi: Hours after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal skipped summons by the Enforcement Directorate for the sixth time, sources said that the in the agency claimed that the court has taken cognizance of a complaint by probe agency under Section 174 of the Indian Penal Code against the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief.
Section 174 pertains to not obeying a legal order to attend a certain place in person or by an agent.
The complaint was filed against Kejriwal for intentionally disobeying the first three summons issued to him, sources said.
Sources in the agency claimed that the court has taken cognizance of the same and has prima facie accepted that Kejriwal has committed an offence for which he is liable to be prosecuted, they added.
They further said that the question in front of the court is not about the validity of the summons rather the illegal act on the part of Kejriwal of intentionally disobeying the said three summons.
Earlier in the day, party sources said that the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will not appear before the ED for questioning in connection with an excise policy case linked to money laundering.
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.

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