Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is likely to skip the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) summons in the excise policy case for the fourth time. The central agency issued the fourth summons to Mr Kejriwal last week, asking him to appear today. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader, sources said, is unlikely to do so as he is scheduled to visit Goa to meet party workers and take stock of the preparations for Lok Sabha polls.
At a Delhi government event yesterday to see off elderly pilgrims travelling to Gujarat, Mr Kejriwal was asked about the fresh summons. “We will do whatever needs to be done according to the law,” he replied.
Mr Kejriwal was first summoned to appear before ED on November 2, and then on December 21 last year. He skipped both summons. He was then asked to come in on January 3, but he cited Rajya Sabha polls and Republic Day preparations. A fresh summons was issued, asking him to appear before the agency on January 18 or 19. He is likely to skip this one too.
Mr Kejriwal was earlier questioned the ED’s motives and alleged that the agency has assumed the role of “judge, jury and executioner”. He has said the BJP-led government wants to arrest him so that he cannot campaign for the Lok Sabha polls. “The truth is that there was no corruption. BJP wants to arrest me. My biggest asset is my honesty & they want to dent it. My lawyers have told me that summons sent to me are illegal. BJP’s aim is not to probe me, but not to let me campaign for Lok Sabha elections. They want to call me on the pretext of investigation and then arrest me,” he said earlier this month.
Sources from the agency have maintained that the summonses sent to Mr Kejriwal were well within law. The AAP leader’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 him during the preparation of the now-scrapped excise policy for the national capital.
The ED has also claimed in its chargesheet that AAP had used “proceeds of crime” in its Goa election campaign.
The Delhi excise policy was scrapped following allegations of corruption. The CBI took over the case following a recommendation by Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena. Thereafter, the ED registered a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) to probe the money trail.