Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal receives a fourth summons from the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the Delhi Excise Policy-linked money laundering case, escalating tensions amid political and legal debates.
New Delhi, January 14, 2024 – In the ongoing Delhi Excise Policy case, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued a fourth summons to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for his involvement in the money laundering probe linked to the policy. Official sources revealed that Kejriwal, who is also the national convener of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), has been directed to appear before the agency at its Delhi headquarters on January 18, 2024. However, AAP sources indicate that Kejriwal is scheduled to be in Goa from January 18 to 20, assessing his party’s preparations for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
The 55-year-old leader had previously refused to comply with the ED’s summons on January 3, citing concerns about the agency’s approach. Kejriwal argued that the ED’s “non-disclosure and non-response approach” lacked legal foundation and accused the agency of assuming the roles of judge, jury, and executioner. This marks the fourth time he has been summoned, with previous notices issued on November 2 and December 21, 2023.
Despite Kejriwal’s objections, the ED has dismissed his argument that the summonses were not in accordance with the law. The agency maintains that the summons were issued within the procedures of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Kejriwal’s name has appeared multiple times in the charge sheets filed by the ED, alleging his involvement in discussions related to the now-abandoned Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22.
The ED is expected to submit a new supplementary charge sheet, potentially implicating the AAP as a “beneficiary” of alleged kickbacks generated through the excise policy. The case revolves around allegations that the Delhi government’s excise policy for 2021-22, granting licenses to liquor traders, led to cartelization and favored specific dealers who allegedly paid bribes. The AAP consistently denies these allegations. Following the controversy, the policy was scrapped, and Delhi Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena recommended a CBI probe, leading to the ED registering a case under the PMLA.