Saturday, April 13, 2024

ED summons Kejriwal in money laundering case linked to DJB


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NEW DELHI, March 17: The Enforcement Directorate has summoned Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a money laundering probe linked to alleged irregularities in the Delhi Jal Board, with the Aam Aadmi Party terming it a “backup” plan to stop him from campaigning in the Lok Sabha polls.
According to the officials, Kejriwal (55), who is also the national convenor of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), is required to present himself before the agency at its office on A P J Abdul Kalam Road on March 18 to provide his statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
This latest development marks the second instance where Kejriwal has been summoned under the anti-money laundering law.
He is also facing inquiries in the Delhi excise policy-related money laundering case and has previously disregarded eight summons in that matter, terming those “illegitimate”. The ED has issued a fresh summons to Kejriwal to appear for questioning on March 21 in the excise policy-linked money laundering case.
Delhi minister Atishi, at a press conference, expressed concerns over the motive behind these actions and said, “Nobody knows what this Delhi Jal Board (DJB) case is about. This seems to be a backup plan to arrest Kejriwal anyhow and stop him from campaigning in the Lok Sabha polls.” In the DJB case, the ED has claimed that funds obtained through corruption in a contract awarded by the Delhi government’s department were allegedly channelled as election funds to the AAP, the ruling party in Delhi.
In February, the ED conducted raids at the residences of Kejriwal’s personal assistant, a Rajya Sabha MP from AAP, a former DJB member, a chartered accountant, and others as part of this probe.
The ED’s case is based on a CBI FIR alleging irregularities in a DJB contract awarded to a company-NKG Infrastructure Ltd.- for a sum of Rs 38 crore even though the company “did not meet” the technical eligibility criteria.
The Enforcement Directorate has arrested individuals linked to the contract, alleging that kickbacks were involved in awarding the contract and these funds were subsequently used for illicit purposes, including as election funds for the AAP. This is the second instance where the AAP has been accused of receiving kickbacks, with the ED claiming that funds from the excise policy of 2021-22 were used by the party for campaigning in the Goa assembly elections. (PTI)


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