Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has been summoned by the Delhi Rouse Avenue Court on February 17 acting on a complaint of the Enforcement Directorate over Kejriwal’s non-compliance with ED orders. The court on Wednesday was hearing the complaint filed by ED for non-compliance to the summons issued to him in connection with the ongoing probe in the Delhi Liquor Excise policy 2021-22. Kejriwal so far has skipped five summons issued by the ED – on November 2, 2023, December 22, 2023, January 3, 2024, January 18, and February 2. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Divya Malhotra said that she has taken cognisance of the ED’s complaint and summons are being issued to Kejriwal.
In 2023, Kejriwal skipped the summons citing other work, vipassana. But when he skipped the 5th summons, Kejriwal was in Delhi and continued to maintain that the summons were illegal and politically motivated.
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‘Satyamev jayate,’ said BJP national spokesperson Shehzad Poonawala reacting to the court order. “Kejriwal has become bhagoda no. 1. He said the summons were illegal but now he is exposed as the court has now summoned him,” Poonawala said.
Kejriwal can challenge the Rouse Avenue court order to stay it or can seek relief from personal appearance in the court and appear through a lawyer.
The setback comes as Kejriwal is facing heat from Delhi crime branch as well pertaining to his comment that the BJP tried to buy seven AAP MLAs. The crime branch asked the Delhi chief minister to provide evidence supporting his claims.
Apart from the alleged liquor scam, the ED is also probing a case of the Delhi Jal Board. On Tuesday, the ED conducted raids at 12 locations including those connected to chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s personal secretary Bibhav Kumar and the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) Rajya Sabha member ND Gupta.
Delhi minister Atishi the ED officials on Tuesday couldn’t furnish the details of the case which led to the crackdown and that it has been proved that all this was done to attack Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. “This would probably be the first time in the history of ED that a raid was conducted and it lasted for 16 hours, but it was not mentioned anywhere in writing under which case these searches were conducted,” Atishi said.
“The raid went on for 16 hours in the house of Kumar. During that time, ED officers were sitting in Bibhav Ji’s drawing room. Headlines were made across that raids were going on but, neither any search or seizure was made nor any grilling was done,” Atishi said.