Kejriwal skips eighth summons of ED, agrees to appear after March 12 virtually

The Delhi CM has repeatedly skipped the agencies summons stating that they are illegal, unfair and politically motivated

Updated - March 04, 2024 11:18 pm IST

Published - March 04, 2024 09:36 am IST - New Delhi

The ED wants to record Arvind Kejriwal’s statement in the case on issues like the formulation of policy, meetings held before it was finalised, and allegations of bribery.

The ED wants to record Arvind Kejriwal’s statement in the case on issues like the formulation of policy, meetings held before it was finalised, and allegations of bribery. | Photo Credit: PTI

Skipping the eighth summons of the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday agreed to appear before the agency virtually on any date after March 12. The ED had summoned Mr. Kejriwal on March 4 in relation to a money laundering probe in the Delhi Excise policy 2021-22 case. However, ED sources said they had no provisions for doing a virtual hearing.

Mr. Kejriwal has repeatedly skipped the agencies summons stating that they are illegal, unfair and politically motivated. AAP leaders have alleged that the Centre is using the ED as a tool.

Also Read | ‘Rattled’ BJP will use CBI to arrest Delhi CM, says AAP

AAP sources claimed that the ED’s purpose is not to investigate but it is being used by the BJP to intimidate the Opposition. “Their aim is to arrest Mr. Kejriwal in the middle of elections. The Central government should inquire through video conference, and it should be telecast live.”

A day after Mr. Kejriwal skipped the fifth summons issued by the ED, the agency on February 3 approached a Delhi court against him for “non-compliance with the summons”.

After Mr. Kejriwal skipped the seventh summons on February 26, the AAP said in a statement that the ED should stop sending summonses and wait for the court’s decision as the ED had already approached the court on the matter.

“The Modi government should not create pressure like this. We won’t leave the INDIA bloc,” the party had said in a statement. The AAP had earlier alleged that the BJP had told them through different channels that Mr. Kejriwal would be arrested if the AAP did not leave the INDIA bloc.

OPINION | Spirited battle: On AAP and the Delhi excise policy

CBI’s FIR

The case against Mr. Kejriwal is based on an FIR by the Central Bureau of Investigation, alleging multiple irregularities in the formation and implementation of the Delhi excise policy (2021-22), which was subsequently withdrawn.

Two senior AAP leaders — former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh — are already in judicial custody in connection with the case.

On February 17, Mr. Kejriwal appeared before the Rouse Avenue court via video conference in connection with the ED’s complaint regarding non-compliance of agency’s summons in the excise policy scam. The court adjourned the matter till March 16 as Mr. Kejriwal expressed inability to be personally present for the hearing due to the ongoing Delhi Assembly session.

What was Delhi’s now-scrapped excise policy trying to do? | In Focus podcast

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