Relief eludes Kejriwal in liquor scam

| | New Delhi
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Relief eludes Kejriwal in liquor scam

Wednesday, 10 July 2024 | Staff Reporter | New Delhi

A special court on Tuesday took cognisance of the seventh supplementary chargesheet filed by the Enforcement Directorate in the money-laundering case linked to the alleged excise policy “scam”.  The ED has named Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party in the supplementary chargesheet.

Special Judge Kaveri Baweja took cognisance of the chargesheet noting that there is sufficient material on record to proceed against the accused persons and listed the matter on July 12, when all the accused would be physically produced before the court.

The  probe agency had filed a 200-page chargesheet naming Kejriwal and the AAP as accused in the case on May 17.

The ED has alleged that Kejriwal was intrinsically involved in the acts of policy formulation, kickback scheme and the final use of the proceeds of crime. The ED pointed out that Kejriwal is involved in the commission of grave economic offences and there is ample evidence on record to link him to the commission of the offence of money laundering.

In its chargesheet, which is the eighth in a series of charge sheets filed by the ED since November 2022, the ED claimed that Kejriwal was directly involved in formulating the excise policy and demanded kickbacks from the South Group in exchange for awarding them favours. The ED also alleged that Kejriwal was involved in using `45 crore of the proceeds of crime in AAP’s Goa election campaign.

Simultaneously, the court also took cognisance of the eighth supplementary chargesheet filed by ED and issued production warrants to Vinod Chauhan and issued summons to another accused Ashish Mathur, also named in the eighth supplementary chargesheet.

Kejriwal’s legal woes escalated when he was apprehended by the ED on March 21. Although he secured bail from the trial court, the High Court has since intervened, suspending the release order.

Subsequently, Kejriwal faced another setback as he was detained by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) shortly after. The AAP National Convenor currently finds himself in judicial custody concerning the CBI and ED cases.

It has alleged that Kejriwal was the “kingpin and key conspirator” of the excise “scam” and was “vicariously responsible” for it.

Reacting to the development Delhi BJP President Virendra Sachdeva called the development ‘very serious’. Demanding the resignation of Kejriwal, he said, “Though Arvind Kejriwal should have shown moral courage to resign when his government’s name first cropped up in liquor scam but after today’s court’s cognizance and summoning he has lost all authority to continue as Chief Minister.”

While  AAP national secretary Pankaj Gupta alleged that the BJP-led Centre is hatching a “big conspiracy” against AAP. Gupta also accused the BJP of wanting to finish off AAP, which governs Punjab and Delhi, at any cost.

ED’s intention from the very beginning of this fake investigation was to frame AAP, arrest all its top leaders and crush the party. BJP sees AAP as the biggest threat in the future and has deployed ED and CBI to ensure AAP is finished. Over the last two years of this investigation, ED and CBI have framed a false case in the courts while BJP has run a false narrative in public against AAP and its leaders,” the AAP said in a statement.

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