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Liquor Policy scam: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal files petition against ED summons in court

By Mahima Katal      14 March, 2024 11:40 AM      0 Comments
Liquor Policy scam Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal files petition against ED summons in court

New Delhi: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday approached Delhi Rouse Avenue Court challenging the summons issued to him by the additional chief metropolitan magistrate on the complaints filed by ED for non-compliance of the summons issued by them. The court has directed Kejriwal to appear before it on March 16.

The revision petition is filed by Kejriwal before special judge Rakesh Syal. The ED had recently filed two complaints against Kejriwal for not complying with its summons. Notably, Kejriwal has till date skipped eight summons issued by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the excise policy case.

ED had approached the magistrate court on February 3 and March 6 with a complaint seeking initiation of proceedings against Kejriwal under Section 174 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for not appearing before investigators despite repeated summons issued to him under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in connection with the Delhi excise policy case.

As per Section 174 of the IPC, a person not appearing despite summons issued by a public servant shall be punished with imprisonment up to one month and a fine of Rs 500.

The investigating agency has so far issued eight summons to Kejriwal (March 4, February 26, February 19, February 2, January 18, January 3, and December 22 and November 2 last year) asking him to join the investigation into an alleged money laundering case related to the Delhi liquor excise policy case.

What is the Delhi liquor case?

In 2021, the AAP government had initiated a series of changes in its liquor excise policy launched in 2021. These adjustments included lowering the legal drinking age from 25 to 21 years, the cessation of government-owned liquor stores with the issuance of store operation licenses to private entities, separate registration criteria for different liquor brands, taking into account factors such as pricing and sales performance in areas outside of Delhi.

It also proposed a significant increase in the annual liquor vending license fee, raising it from Rs 8 lakh to Rs 75 lakh. The Delhi government withdrew from the liquor retail business, granting licenses to 849 private vendors through competitive bidding.

However, the government announced the rollback of the excise policy. This move was in response to allegations of corruption and favoritism in the licensing process.

ED is probing the alleged corruption in the Delhi excise policy 2021-22 and has already apprehended two senior members of the Aam Aadmi Party – Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh – and filed six charge sheets in the matter.



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