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Kejriwal appears virtually before Delhi court in ED summons case, next hearing on March 16

Kejriwal cited confidence motion, the Delhi Assembly Budget Session as reasons before the court as he sought an exemption from his physical appearance in the ED summons case.

Edited By: Shashwat Bhandari @ShashBhandari New Delhi Updated on: February 17, 2024 14:33 IST
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Image Source : PTI Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Delhi Liquor case: Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convenor Arvind Kejriwal appeared before the Rouse Avenue court in the case of evading several summons by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) via video-conferencing. The probing agency had approached the court against Kejriwal for skipping five summons linked to a probe related to the excise policy case.

Kejriwal's advocate Ramesh Gupta sought exemption from personal physical appearance for the Delhi Chief Minister before the court in case of evading ED summons. The court granted an exemption to Kejriwal from personal physical appearance for Saturday (today).

"Arvind Kejriwal moved an application for exemption from personal appearance before Rouse Avenue court which was accepted. ASG Raju, representing ED, did not oppose the application. The court has fixed March 16 as the next date of hearing. If everything goes well, Kejriwal should be appearing before the court on the next date of hearing and he should also get bail in the matter," Ramesh Gupta said.

After the court granted an exemption to Kejriwal, the Delhi CM appeared before it via video conferencing.

The CM told the court that due to the confidence motion discussion in the Assembly and the ongoing budget session, he could not physically appear before the court today. The court has fixed March 16 for the physical appearance of Arvind Kejriwal.

Delhi court summoned Kejriwal on February 7 after ED's complaint

Earlier, the Delhi court had on February 7 summoned Kejriwal for February 17, noting that prima facie the AAP chief was "legally bound" to comply.

In its complaint, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has alleged that the Delhi chief minister intentionally did not want to obey the summons and kept on giving "lame excuses". If a high-ranking public functionary like him disobeyed the law, it would "set a wrong example for the common man i.e. the Aam Aadmi,” the agency said.

“From the contents of the complaint and the material placed on record, prima facie offence under Section 174 of the IPC is made out and there are sufficient grounds for proceeding under against accused Arvind Kejriwal... Accordingly, issue summons to accused Arvind Kejriwal for the offence under Section 174 of the IPC for February 17, 2024,” the judge had said.

Section 174 relates to non-attendance in obedience to an order from a public servant.

The ED had on February 3 filed a fresh complaint case against Kejriwal for non-compliance of its summons.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convenor had earlier written to the ED, describing the summonses issued to him as "illegal and politically motivated". He had alleged that the summonses were aimed at preventing him from campaigning in elections.

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