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Delhi liquor policy scam: No relief for Arvind Kejriwal for now from Delhi HC

By Shreya Agarwal      21 March, 2024 08:22 PM      0 Comments
Delhi liquor policy scam No relief for Arvind Kejriwal for now from Delhi HC

DELHI: The Delhi High Court today refused to grant protection from arrest to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who has already defied 9 summons of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the Delhi liquor policy money laundering case.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to which Kejriwal belongs, has consistently maintained that while Kejriwal is ready to join investigation, it believes that the ED is "not an independent agency," but a "political tool" of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Sr. Adv. Abhishek Manu Singhvi representing Kejriwal made the same submission before Court today, stating, that ED was “attempting a non-level playing field" with the Lok Sabha elections are around the corner.

Also Read - Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal moves Delhi HC against all ED summons in Delhi liquor policy scam case

However, after hearing both the parties, the court said that it is not inclined to grant relief at this stage.

A division bench comprising of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait and Justice Manoj Jain directed ED to file a response to the plea.

The next hearing of the application has been listed on April 22.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had earlier also moved the Delhi High Court challenging all the summons issued to him by the ED in the Delhi liquor policy scam case.

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

The development came days after Kejriwal approached the Delhi Rouse Avenue Court challenging summons issued to him by the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate on a complaint filed by the ED for non-compliance of the summons issued by them.

Following this, the Court had directed Kejriwal to appear before it on March 16.

On non-appearance on the ED's Kejriwal's lawyer had told the Delhi Court, "He is a common man. Wo ek shirt pehente hai, woh bhi pant ke bahar nikaal ke. He is indeed a common man. Dress nahi badalta bar bar din me, mehenge kapde nahi pehenta."

He had added that for appearing before the ED, many "arrangements have to be made", and that Kejriwal's non-appearance can't be said to be intentional.

"There is a reason as a Chief Minister I said I can't come. And the magistrate has not considered it," 

Kejriwal had submitted.

The said petition was filed by Kejriwal before Special Judge Rakesh Syal following ED's two complaints against him 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's eight summons to Kejriwal were dated 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.



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