ED summons Arvind Kejriwal in money laundering case linked to DJB

According to the officials, the Delhi chief minister is required to appear at the ED office on 18 March and give his statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA)

Delhi chief minister and AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal (photo: National Herald archives)
Delhi chief minister and AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal (photo: National Herald archives)
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PTI

The Enforcement Directorate has summoned Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a money laundering probe linked to alleged irregularities in the Delhi Jal Board, with the Aam Aadmi Party terming it a "backup" plan to stop him from campaigning in the Lok Sabha polls.

According to the officials, Kejriwal (55), who is also the national convenor of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), is required to present himself before the agency at its office on A P J Abdul Kalam Road on March 18 to provide his statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

This latest development marks the second instance where Kejriwal has been summoned under the anti-money laundering law.

He is also facing inquiries in the Delhi excise policy-related money laundering case and has previously disregarded eight summons in that matter, terming those "illegitimate". The ED has issued a fresh summons to Kejriwal to appear for questioning on March 21 in the excise policy-linked money laundering case.

Delhi minister Atishi, at a press conference, expressed concerns over the motive behind these actions and said, "Nobody knows what this Delhi Jal Board (DJB) case is about. This seems to be a backup plan to arrest Kejriwal anyhow and stop him from campaigning in the Lok Sabha polls."

In the DJB case, the ED has claimed that funds obtained through corruption in a contract awarded by the Delhi government's department were allegedly channelled as election funds to the AAP, the ruling party in Delhi.

In February, the ED conducted raids at the residences of Kejriwal's personal assistant, a Rajya Sabha MP from AAP, a former DJB member, a chartered accountant, and others as part of this probe.

The ED's case is based on a CBI FIR alleging irregularities in a DJB contract awarded to a company -- NKG Infrastructure Ltd. -- for a sum of Rs 38 crore even though the company "did not meet" the technical eligibility criteria.

The Enforcement Directorate has arrested individuals linked to the contract, alleging that kickbacks were involved in awarding the contract and these funds were subsequently used for illicit purposes, including as election funds for the AAP.

Among those arrested were former chief engineer of DJB Jagdish Kumar Arora and contractor Anil Kumar Aggarwal in this case on January 31. The ED claimed that NKG Infrastructure Ltd obtained the bid by submitting "forged" documents and Arora "was aware of the fact that the company does not meet the technical eligibility".


This is the second instance where the AAP has been accused of receiving kickbacks, with the ED claiming that funds from the excise policy of 2021-22 were used by the party for campaigning in the Goa assembly elections.

The ED alleged that the DJB contract was inflated to facilitate the collection of bribes from contractors, further asserting that a significant portion of the contract value was diverted through fake expenses for illicit activities.

The agency said that the DJB contract was awarded at "highly inflated rates" so that the bribes could be collected from the contractors. "As against the contract value of Rs 38 crore, only about Rs 17 crore was spent towards the contract and the remaining amounts were siphoned off in the guise of various fake expenses."

"Such fake expenses were booked for bribes and election funds," the ED claimed.

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