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"Summoned in fake case": Delhi Minister Atishi as ED opens fresh case against Delhi CM

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued summons to Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo Arvind Kejriwal for tomorrow under Section 50 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in the Delhi Jal Board case.
ED is probing illegal tendering in the Delhi Jal Board case and laundering of alleged proceeds of crime.
Reacting to the same, Aam Aadmi Party leader and Delhi Minister Atishi claimed on Sunday that the case is 'fake', adding that the party is not aware of the case registered by the ED in this matter.
"Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal received another summons yesterday evening by the ED...They have asked him to join some investigations related to the Delhi Jal Board. We are unaware of the case registered by the ED in this matter," she said.
Further launching attack on the Centre, Atishi said, "the Prime Minister is concerned about one thing, which is, by some means or another, putting Arvind Kejriwal in jail before the elections. The ED and CBI have only one objective. As soon as the court process started, another summons was sent to Arvind Kejriwal yesterday evening. Summons have been sent in a fake case," said Delhi Minister Atishi.
This comes as the Enforcement Directorate (ED) issued the 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 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 court complaining of 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 the 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.
Speaking on the Delhi CM's bail on the money laundering case, Atishi said, "Yesterday Arvind Kejriwal went to court. Gave a reply to all BJP leaders. BJP was saying again and again that Arvind Kejriwal was running away. Kejriwal got bail yesterday. The legal process has begun. Now the court will examine whether the summons sent by ED are legal or not. ED and CBI are Modi Ji's goons. Modi's goons have targeted opposition leaders."
Speaking further on electoral bonds, Delhi Minister Atishi said, "Extortion has also been done in the name of electoral bonds. ED and CBI are being used to eliminate Modi's opponents. If the court is examining this case, then why a new summons? ED itself went to court, and now they are not waiting for the legal process to end."
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 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 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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