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ED issues 9th summons to Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, asks to join probe in excise policy case on March 21

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued ninth summons to Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo Arvind Kejriwal in a money laundering probe related to irregularities in the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22 case asking him to join the investigation on March 21.
The fresh summons to the Delhi Chief Minister followed the eighth summons which he had skipped on March 4.
ED's move comes a day after Kejriwal first time appeared before the city's Rouse Avenue Court physically on Saturday in connection with the case as the agency earlier filed two complaints against him in the court complaining for disobeying their summons to join the probe in the Delhi excise policy case. The court later granted him bail in the case filed by the agency for skipping its summons.
Kejriwal got bail on a bail bond of Rs 15,000 in the case of complaints filed by ED. He is on bail and has been asked by the court to respond to the ED summons and obey the law. The court directed the Dehi Chief Minister that following the law is appropriate for a person who has taken the oath of the Constitution.
Kejriwal has so far skipped eight previous summons issued by the ED on March 4, February 26, February 19, February 2, January 18, January 3, November 2 and on December 22, calling them "illegal and politically motivated".
The ED wants to record Kejriwal's statement in the case on issues like formulation of policy, meetings held before it was finalised, and allegations of bribery.
While skipping the eighth summons issued by the ED, AAP, in a statement, termed it "illegal", saying that the ED should stop sending summons and wait for the court's decision as the probe agency has already approached the court on the matter.
A day after Kejriwal skipped the fifth summons issued by the Enforcement Directorate, the agency on February 3 approached a Delhi court against him for the first time for "non-compliance with the summons".
The case against the AAP supremo is based on a First Information Report (FIR) alleging multiple irregularities in the formation and implementation of the Delhi excise policy (2021-22) by the Central Bureau of Investigation. The policy was withdrawn after allegations of corruption.
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.
On Kejriwal's role, one of the six charge sheets filed in January 2023 states that Kejriwal told businessman Sameer Mahendru that former AAP communications in-charge Vijay Nair "is his boy" and that he should trust him.
The excise policy was aimed to revitalise the city's flagging liquor business and replace a sales-volume-based regime with a license 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.
Lieutenant governor Vinai Kumar Saxena's move to order a probe into alleged irregularities in the regime prompted the scrapping of the policy. The AAP has accused Saxena's predecessor, Anil Baijal, of sabotaging the move with a few last-minute changes that resulted in lower-than-expected revenues.
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 and on October 5, the ED arrested Singh, who is a Rajya Sabha member.

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