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After skipping 8 ED summons, AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal gets bail from Delhi court in the case filed by agency

The Delhi CM has skipped as many as 8 summonses sent to him by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the probe related to the Excise Policy scam.

On Saturday, March 16, Delhi Rouse Avenue Court granted bail to CM and AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal. The bail was granted on a surety bond worth Rs 15,000 and a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh after he was asked to appear before the court on the basis of two Enforcement Directorate (ED) complaints for skipping multiple summons issued in connection to the Delhi Excise Policy case.

Interestingly, the Delhi CM has skipped as many as 8 summonses sent to him by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the probe related to the Excise Policy scam. His lawyer had argued before the court that Kejriwal’s in-person attendance before the ED would be detrimental to the Chief Minister. However, today, Kejriwal along with his lawyer Ramesh Gupta finally appeared in person in the court in connection with the case. At the last hearing, he appeared via video conferencing.

Notably, by skipping the Enforcement Directorate’s repeated summonses in the Delhi excise policy scam, Arvind Kejriwal violated Section 174 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) – which deals with disobeying a legal order to be at a certain place in person or by agent.

The Enforcement Directorate informed the court that the Chief Minister had ignored eight summons issued under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The court summoned the AAP chief after the central probe agency, which wants to question Kejriwal in connection with the Delhi excise policy case, informed the court that the Chief Minister had ignored eight summonses issued under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

The Enforcement Directorate had filed two complaints against Kejriwal for disobeying their summonses to join the probe in the Delhi excise policy case.

On March 15, senior advocate Ramesh Gupta, who was representing Kejriwal at the hearing, alleged that ED was seeking the Chief Minister’s physical presence only for publicity. Questioning why the Enforcement Directorate wasn’t okay with Kejriwal getting an exemption from personal appearance, Gupta said, “Ye kya karna chahte hain? Juloos nikaalna chahte hain? Ye log do din pehle notice deke kehte hain aa jao…” (What do they want to do? They only want publicity in the name of the Chief Minister’s visit. They issue summons and ask him to appear within two days), his lawyer asked.

Gupta while attempting to explain the AAP leader’s rationale behind ignoring the ED summons tried his best to portray Arvind Kejriwal as an ‘Aam Aadmi’ in the process. “Inse (Kejriwal) zayada ordinary aadmi kya hoga? suit tak nahi pehena aaj tak inhone. Wo shirt pehenta hai wo bhi pant k bahar rahti hai. Joote nahi daale. Ye din m teen baar kapde nahi badalta. He is an ordinary man“, (Who can be more ordinary than him. He has till date never worn a suit, nor has he ever worn shoes. He wears only shirt and pant, that too never tucks in his shirt. He does not change his outfits thrice a day. He is an ordinary man), said Gupta, defending Kejriwal’s defiance in court.

What is the case

Arvind Kejriwal has challenged the summons issued to him by Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court before the sessions court in connection with the Delhi excise policy case.

After the Enforcement Directorate filed a new case against the Chief Minister for failing to appear in the court on the summons, the judge summoned Kejriwal to appear on March 16.

Previous to this, the investigation agency had filed a motion in a local court to prosecute Kejriwal for failing to appear at the first three summons in the money laundering case.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has so far issued eight summons to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a money laundering probe related to irregularities in the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22 case.

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

Two senior AAP leaders — Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh — are already under judicial custody in the case. Sisodia, who was the then Delhi Deputy Chief Minister, was arrested by the CBI on February 26 following several rounds of questioning and on October 5, the ED arrested Singh, who is a Rajya Sabha member.

Yesterday (March 15), the Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested K Kavitha, the daughter of former Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao and Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) MLC from her house in Hyderabad. The arrest was made under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in connection with the Delhi Excise Policy scam. According to the Enforcement Directorate, she is a member of the ‘South Cartel,’ which allegedly received payments in the case.

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