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Arvind Kejriwal To Appear In Delhi Court To Explain Escape From Multiple Summons By ED

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been ordered by a Delhi court to come in person on February 17 and provide an explanation for evading five summonses from the Enforcement Directorate. The Enforcement Directorate is looking into allegations of money laundering related to the liquor excise policy scam case in the nation’s capital.

The Aam Aadmi Party, led by Mr. Kejriwal, declared that it would “take action as per law… and is studying the court order.” “We will tell the court how the summons are illegal,” party insiders said.

Due to Mr. Kejriwal’s non-compliance, the central inquiry agency last week filed a new complaint against him. It stated that he could not disobey a government agency’s commands as a public servant.

On February 2, the leader of the Aam Aadmi Party turned down the Enforcement Directorate’s fifth request.

Mr. Kejriwal also chose not to respond to the summons from the agency on January 19, claiming it was unlawful for them to do so. The agency is alleged to have targeted rivals ahead of the Lok Sabha election, allegedly on the BJP-led center’s orders. He also disregarded the summonses dated January 31, December 21, and November 2.

Due to his campaigning for the Madhya Pradesh election, he did not reply to the first one. He disregarded the others, citing a 10-day meditation retreat among other prior commitments.

The party has bemoaned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “sole aim… is to arrest Arvind Kejriwal and topple the Delhi government” and denounced the ED’s operations as “politically motivated”.

The Central Bureau of Investigation had previously questioned Mr. Kejriwal in this case for nine hours; this was in April of last year. He is not an accused so far. “CBI asked 56 questions (but) everything is fake. Am convinced they don’t have a single piece of evidence,” he had said.

But two prominent AAP figures—among them the former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia—have been taken into custody. Sanjay Singh, a member of the Rajya Sabha, was arrested in October of last year, and Mr. Sisodia in February.

The issue concerns claims that the AAP administration received crores in kickbacks from cartels as a result of changing its alcohol sales policy, and that these funds were used to pay for Goa and other states’ election-related expenses.

In particular, the CBI and the ED have claimed that the policy benefitted certain dealers who paid bribes to get liquor selling licences and permitted cartelization.

The AAP has vigorously denied all allegations. The scheme produced ₹ 8,900 crore in revenue, according to the Delhi government, a 27% increase in income. The party has also accused the BJP of manipulating the agency to target it.

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