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ED claims it has evidence on money laundering by Arvind Kejriwal in excise scam

The ED has alleged that Arvind Kejriwal was the main conspirator in the case. The agency claims that Kejriwal, along with others, orchestrated the excise scam to favour certain groups and that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) benefited from the proceeds of the crime

ED claims it has evidence on money laundering by Arvind Kejriwal in excise scam; Delhi CM plea in HC for relief
First Published Apr 3, 2024, 10:09 AM IST

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has lodged a petition in the Delhi High Court contesting his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a money laundering case linked to the now-repealed Delhi excise policy. The case revolves around alleged corruption and money laundering in devising and executing the Delhi government's excise policy for 2021-22, which was subsequently annulled. Kejriwal's plea is scheduled for a hearing before Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma.

In response, the ED has submitted a counter-affidavit opposing Kejriwal's plea. The plea labels the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief as the mastermind and principal conspirator in the excise policy case. The agency contends that based on the evidence in its possession, there are grounds to suspect his involvement in money laundering.

The ED asserts that Kejriwal, along with Delhi government ministers, AAP leaders, and others, orchestrated the Delhi Excise Scam by drafting the 2021-22 Excise Policy to favour the South Group. The agency maintains that the AAP benefited significantly from the crime proceeds, with Kejriwal playing a pivotal role in the policy's formulation and implementation.

The ED further argues that the AAP, through Kejriwal, engaged in money laundering, citing provisions under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) 2002. The agency underscores Kejriwal's central role within the AAP, attributing him with authority over major party activities and decision-making processes.

'Sh Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister of NCT of Delhi, is the kingpin and key conspirator of the Delhi Excise Scam in collusion with Ministers of Delhi Govt, AAP leaders and other persons.. Sh Arvind Kejriwal was directly involved in the formulation of the Excise Policy 2021-22,' the ED said.

'This policy was being drafted considering the favours to be granted to the South Group and was formed in collusion with Sh Vijay Nair, Sh Manish Sisodia and members representatives of the South Group,' the agency further said.

'The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is the major beneficiary of the proceeds of crime generated in the Delhi Liquor Scam. Sh Arvind Kejriwal was and is not only the brain behind the AAP but also controls its major activities, he was also one of the founding members and was also involved in the decision-making of the policy as evident from the statements of the witnesses,' the ED added.

On March 27, the high court declined to grant interim relief to Kejriwal, citing the complexity of the issues involved and requesting the ED's response. The ED asserts that Kejriwal's arrest and remand were conducted in accordance with procedural requirements under the PMLA and the Indian Constitution, with grounds for arrest duly communicated to him.

In response to statements by MP Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy and co-accused-turned-approvers Raghav Magunta and Sarath Reddy, the ED alleges that Kejriwal solicited kickbacks from the South Group in exchange for favourable treatment in the formulation and execution of the Excise Policy 2021-22.

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