After 9 summonses in excise policy case, ED summons Kejriwal in Jal Board case

The AAP minister charged that the BJP was using ED and CBI as its "goons" to finish off political opponents

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has been summoned nine times by the ED in the alleged excise policy scam case (file photo)
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has been summoned nine times by the ED in the alleged excise policy scam case (file photo)


The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal in a second alleged money laundering case linked to irregularities in the Delhi Jal Board (DJB), official sources said on Sunday.

Kejriwal has been asked to depose before the central agency at its office in A.P.J Abdul Kalam Road on 18 March and record his statement under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the sources said.

This is the second case registered under the anti-money laundering law in which the 55-year-old politician, also the national convenor of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), has been summoned.

He is already facing summons for questioning in another alleged case of money laundering linked to the now scrapped Delhi excise policy. Kejriwal has skipped eight summonses in this case until now, terming them illegal. A ninth notice directs him to appear before the ED investigating officer on 21 March.

Reacting to the new summons in the DJB case, Delhi minister Atishi told reporters on Sunday, "Nobody knows what this DJB case is about. This seems to be a backup plan to arrest Kejriwal anyhow and stop him from campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls."

The ED has alleged that bribe money generated from corruption in a contract issued by the DJB was "passed on" as election funds to the AAP. The agency raided the premises of Kejriwal's personal assistant Bibhav Kumar, AAP Rajya Sabha MP N.D. Gupta, former DJB member Shalabh Kumar, chartered accountant Pankaj Mangal, and some others as part of the investigation in February.

A CBI (Central Bureau of Investigations) FIR, which alleges that former DJB chief engineer Jagdish Kumar Arora awarded a contract to a company called NKG Infrastructure Ltd for a total cost of Rs 38 crore despite the fact that the company "did not meet" the technical eligibility criteria, is the basis of the ED case.

The ED arrested Arora and a contractor named Anil Kumar Aggarwal in this case on 31 January. 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", the agency claimed.

An ED statement alleged that Arora "received" bribes both in cash and in bank accounts after awarding the contract to NKG Infrastructure, and then "passed on" this money to various persons managing affairs at DJB, including "persons connected with AAP". Bribe amounts were also passed on as election funds to AAP, it claimed.

This is the second case in which the Central agency has charged the AAP with taking kickbacks. The first was when it claimed that bribes from the excise policy of 2021-22 were used by Kejriwal's party to campaign in the Goa Assembly elections.

The agency said the DJB contract was awarded at "highly inflated rates" so that bribes could be collected from 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 guise of various fake expenses. Such fake expenses were booked for bribes and election funds," the ED claimed.

Delhi minister Atishi had claimed in a press briefing after the raids that ED officials simply sat in Bibhav Kumar's living room, and took with them only two Gmail account downloads and three family phones.

At Sunday's media briefing, Atishi said the ED sent two summonses asking Kejriwal to appear before the agency next week, hours after the Lok Sabha poll date announcement on Saturday. One of them is related to the excise policy case, the other to the DJB, she said, and charged the BJP with using the ED and CBI as its "goons" to finish off political opponents.

There was no immediate reaction from the ED and the CBI on this. On Saturday, a Delhi court granted Kejriwal bail on two complaints filed by the ED for skipping summonses in the excise policy case.

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