ED files fresh court complaint against Arvind Kejriwal for skipping summonses

Kejriwal alleges that opposition leaders were being "forced" to join the BJP by "harassing" them through the ED

The ED had previously issued 8 summonses to Kejriwal under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) (photo: PTI)
The ED had previously issued 8 summonses to Kejriwal under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) (photo: PTI)


The Enforcement Directorate has filed a fresh complaint before a Delhi court seeking prosecution of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for skipping multiple summonses issued to him in a money laundering case, official sources said on Wednesday, 6 March.

The latest complaint pertains to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convenor not honouring summonses no. 4 to 8 sent by the federal probe agency under Section 50 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), they said.

The court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Divya Malhotra has listed the matter for hearing on Thursday, 7 March.

In a post on X, Kejriwal hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, alleging that opposition leaders were being "forced" to join the BJP by "harassing" them through the ED.

He said the notices being sent to him would stop if he joined the BJP.

The ED had earlier moved a local court seeking Kejriwal's prosecution for not attending the first three summonses issued to him in the money laundering case linked to the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy.

The court of ACMM Malhotra has listed this matter (regarding summonses no. 1 to 3) for hearing on 16 March.

Kejriwal, 55, has called all the ED summonses "illegal". He had informed the agency last time that he could be questioned via a videoconferencing link after 12 March.

"We have not done anything wrong nor are we trying to hide," he had said at a press conference on March 4, the day he was asked to join the probe according to the ED's eighth summons.

The ED has filed the fresh complaint under Section 174 (non-attendance in obedience to an order from public servant) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) read with Section 63(4) of the PMLA that speaks about "a person who intentionally disobeys any direction" along with sections 190(1)(a) (receiving a complaint of facts which constitute such offence) and 200 (evidence of witnesses on oath) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) for non-attendance in compliance of Section 50 (powers of authorities regarding summons, production of documents and to give evidence, etc.) of the PMLA.

Similar action was taken by the ED against incarcerated former Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren. A Ranchi court held the JMM leader prima facie guilty of disobeying notices issued to him by the agency and asked him to appear on April 3.

Kejriwal's name has been mentioned multiple times in charge sheets filed by the ED in the excise policy case. The agency has said that the accused were in touch with Kejriwal regarding the preparation of the excise policy for 2021-22.

So far, the ED has arrested AAP leaders Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh, party communications in-charge Vijay Nair and some liquor businessmen in this case.

The ED had claimed in its charge sheet that the AAP used "proceeds of crime" to the tune of about Rs 45 crore in its Goa assembly polls campaign.

It is alleged that the Delhi government's excise policy to grant licences to liquor traders allowed cartelisation and favoured certain dealers who had allegedly paid bribes for it, a charge repeatedly refuted by the AAP.

The policy was subsequently scrapped and Delhi Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena recommended a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the irregularities in its formulation and implementation. Later, the ED registered a case under the PMLA.

In his post on X, Kejriwal hit out at the Centre.

"ED raids are conducted asking where will you go -- BJP or jail? Those who refuse to join the BJP are sent to jail. Satyendar Jain, Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh will get bail tomorrow if they join the BJP today... Even I will stop getting ED summonses if I join the BJP now," he said.

The chief minister also said that time is very powerful and keeps changing.

The AAP said several court rulings have repeatedly held that the ED must inform in what capacity a person is being summoned.

"Unfortunately, the central government refuses to follow court orders and considers itself above the law," it said.

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Published: 07 Mar 2024, 9:12 AM