On Wednesday, the Rouse Avenue Court in Delhi is expected to decide a complaint brought by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) against Arvind Kejriwal, the chief minister of Delhi, for allegedly disobeying a summons in connection with an alleged money laundering case involving the liquor excise policy. At 4 p.m., the court will deliver its decision.
The investigation team went before the Delhi court on February 2, the day after Kejriwal ignored its summons for the fifth time. Divya Malhotra, the additional chief metropolitan magistrate, received the complaint and scheduled a follow-up hearing for Wednesday.
Kejriwal disregarded the fifth ED summons, claiming it was “illegal,” and claimed the BJP intended to have Kejriwal arrested to overthrow the government in Delhi.
The ED initially called the chief minister on November 2. Still, he ignored it, claiming the notice was “vague, motivated, and unsustainable in law,” and instead took off for a political rally in Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh.
On December 21, Kejriwal was summoned by the investigation agency to testify; however, he enrolled in a 10-day Vipassana meditation course at a centre located in the Hoshiarpur district of Punjab. He was called upon three times this year: January 3, January 18, and February 2. He was called upon twice last year, on November 2 and December 21.
What is the case of the Delhi excise policy?
The Delhi government, led by Arvind Kejriwal, introduced an excise policy in 2021–2022 with the intention of revitalizing the city’s struggling liquor industry by substituting a license fee for traders for the previous sales-volume-based system. However, it was abandoned after Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena requested a CBI investigation into the policy and claimed anomalies.
The AAP was paid ₹100 crore in bribes to finalize the policy, and the party utilized a sizable portion of that sum for its Goa election campaign, as per the CBI chargesheet. Additionally, it claimed that some members of the “South Group” were involved in the purported irregularities.
High-ranking AAP officials have been detained by the investigation team thus far, including Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh and former deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, who have been arrested since last year.