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ED may issue fourth summons to Arvind Kejriwal, examining Delhi CM's reply

The ED is currently examining Kejriwal's five-page reply sent to the investigating officer of the case on Wednesday and may reject his charges of calling the summons illegal.

Edited By: Arushi Jaiswal @JaiswalArushi New Delhi Updated on: January 04, 2024 12:12 IST
Arvind Kejriwal, ED raids, arrest
Image Source : PTI Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal

Delhi liquor case: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday said that they are examining the reply sent by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal regarding his refusal to appear before the agency and may issue a fresh summons to him in the money laundering case linked to the Delhi excise policy scam.

The agency's remarks came amid Kejriwal's ministers' claim that the central probe agency would raid the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener's residence and arrest him today.

ED may issue 4th summons to Kejriwal 

The sources informed the news agency PTI that the ED is currently reviewing the five-page response sent by Kejriwal to the investigating officer of the case on Wednesday. There is a possibility that the ED may dismiss Kejriwal's assertions claiming the summons to be illegal.

The agency may issue its fourth summons to Kejriwal as per provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the sources added.

Delhi Police rejects AAP claim 

AAP has asserted that the Delhi Police sealed off Kejriwal's residence, blocking all access roads and preventing CM House staff from entering.

The Delhi Police, on the other hand, clarified that the heightened security around the Chief Minister's house was aimed at "managing" the media personnel who had gathered there since Wednesday, following claims by party leaders that Kejriwal might be raided and arrested.

A senior Delhi Police official mentioned that the increased security was primarily to handle the presence of media personnel after the AAP's speculation about a potential raid at the CM's residence. Another police officer asserted that no one from the Chief Minister's staff had been restricted, referring to the augmented police presence as a "general deployment."

AAP on Kejriwal's arrest

Delhi ministers Atishi and Saurabh Bhardwaj, late on Wednesday, claimed that they had information that the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) would arrest Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal on Thursday following the raid at his residence

This comes after Kejriwal skipped the ED summons for the third time on Wednesday (January 3) in connection with the alleged liquor scam case.

"News coming in that ED is going to raid @ArvindKejriwal’s residence tmrw morning. Arrest likely," Atishi said in a post on X at 11.50 pm on Wednesday.

Minutes later, Delhi minister Saurabh Bharadwaj posted the same thing in Hindi, "Got to know ED will be reaching Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal's house tomorrow morning and is likely to arrest him."

Security beefed up outside Kejriwal's residence

Delhi Police heightened security around the residence of Chief Minister Kejriwal after late-night tweets by Delhi Ministers. The tweets raised apprehensions of Aam Aadmi Party workers gathering outside the Chief Minister's residence. In response, the police increased security to prevent any gathering, ensuring law and order situation is maintained.

Arvind Kejriwal skips ED summons

Kejriwal once again did not appear before the ED for questioning in connection with the Delhi excise case. He was asked by the central agency to appear on January 3, however, this is the third time he skipped the summons. The Delhi Chief Minister termed the ED's summons as "illegal."

Meanwhile, the AAP sources said the party's chief is ready to cooperate with ED, but the notice is "illegal" as it has been sent with the intention to arrest him to prevent him from election campaigning ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. 

It should be mentioned here that this was the third ED notice to Kejriwal after he refused to appear before the federal agency on two earlier summonses for November 2 and December 21. 

While refusing to depose on the first summons, the Delhi Chief Minister had cited the reason of his busy schedule in the wake-up to the Assembly elections in five states. 

Meanwhile, on missing out on the second summons, he wrote to the investigating officer of the case stating the notice issued against him for personal appearance was "not in consonance with the law" and it should be withdrawn. He also alleged that summons were issued at the behest of political rivals who wish to silence the voice of the opposition in the run-up to the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. 

It is alleged that the Delhi government's excise policy for 2021-22 to grant licences to liquor traders allowed cartelisation and favoured certain dealers who had allegedly paid bribes for it, a charge repeatedly refuted by the AAP. The policy was subsequently scrapped and the Delhi lieutenant governor recommended a CBI probe, following which the ED registered a case under the PMLA.

Also Read: Delhi liquor case: Arvind Kejriwal skips ED summons again, terms central agency's notice 'illegal'

Also Read: Arvind Kejriwal to AAP workers: 'Will have to go to jail for paths we have chosen for public good'

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