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After Delhi HC refuses protection from arrest, ED questions Arvind Kejriwal at his home, confiscates his phone
Excise scam
Photo courtesy: Facebook/Arvind Kejriwal

After Delhi HC refuses protection from arrest, ED questions Arvind Kejriwal at his home, confiscates his phone

| @indiablooms | 21 Mar 2024, 09:07 pm

New Delhi/IBNS: Hours after the Delhi High Court refused to grant protection from arrest to Arvind Kejriwal in the liquor policy case, a team from the Enforcement Directorate Thursday reached the chief minister's residence and began questioning him under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

According to reports, a team consisting of 12 officials is questioning Kejriwal at his residence.

They have come with a search warrant and have confiscated the phones of the Aam Aadmi Party chief as well as his family.

As the ED officials carried out their questioning inside the residence, Delhi Police and Rapid Action Force personnel as well as CRPF teams were deployed outside.

Delhi minister Saurabh Bharadwaj, who also reached the chief minister's residence, said, "The way the police are inside and nobody is being allowed in, it seems like a raid is being conducted. It seems they have planned to arrest Arvind Kejriwal."

Kejriwal has already skipped nine summons issued by the ED in connection with the alleged liquor policy scam.

On Monday, he skipped a summon issued by the agency in a money-laundering case linked to alleged irregularities in the Delhi Jal Board.

The ED's questioning of the Delhi chief minister less than a week after BRS leader K Kavitha was arrested in the liquor policy case. After her arrest, Kejriwal was, for the first time, named as a conspirator in the case.

Ever since the ED issued the first summons in October last year and Kejriwal was asked to appear on Nov 2 last year, there has been speculation that the Delhi chief minister would be arrested by the agency.

Former Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia was arrested in connection with the case in February last year, and AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh was taken into custody in October.

Earlier in the day, the Delhi High Court declined to give protection from arrest to Kejriwal in the liquor policy case but had asked the ED to file a reply to his petition.

Listing the matter for the next hearing on April 22, a Bench of Justices Suresh Kumar Kait and Manoj Jain said, "We have heard both sides, and we are not inclined at this stage (to grant protection). The respondent (ED) is at liberty to file a reply."

In a press note released on Sunday, the ED called the AAP chief a conspirator in the alleged liquor policy scam.

"ED investigation revealed that Ms K Kavitha along with others conspired with the top leaders of AAP including Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia for getting favours in the Delhi Excise policy formulation and implementation. In exchange of these favours, she was involved in paying ₹ 100 Crore to the leaders of AAP," the press note said.

"By the acts of corruption and conspiracy in the formulation and implementation of Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22, a continuous stream of illegal funds in the form of kickback, from the wholesalers was generated for the AAP. Further, Smt K Kavitha and her associates were to recover the proceeds of crime paid in advance to AAP and to further generate profits/proceeds of crime from this entire conspiracy," it added.

Kejriwal, who is one of the prominent opposition leaders in the country, has called the ED summons as a "political vendetta" by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which runs the Centre but is out of power in the union territory.

The Chief Minister, who is a staunch opponent of the BJP, said the saffron brigade wants to bring an attack on his "asset" which is "honesty".

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