Arvind Kejriwal Summoned By Delhi Court After Probe Agency ED's Complaint

Mr Kejriwal was earlier questioned in this case for nine hours by the Central Bureau of Investigation - this was in April last year - but has not been made an accused so far.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal (File).

New Delhi:

A Delhi court has directed Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to appear on February 17 and explain why he has skipped five summons from the Enforcement Directorate, which is investigating alleged money laundering linked to the liquor excise policy scam case in the national capital.

Mr Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party has said it is "studying the court order... and will take action as per law". Party sources told NDTV "we will tell the court how the summons are illegal".

The central probe agency last week filed a fresh complaint against Mr Kejriwal over his non-compliance. It said he, as a public servant, could not ignore the orders of a government agency.

The Aam Aadmi Party boss snubbed the Enforcement Directorate's fifth call on February 2.

READ | Probe Agency Moves Court After Arvind Kejriwal Skips 5th Summons

Mr Kejriwal skipped the January 19 summons too, declaring the notices from the agency - accused of acting under orders from the BJP-led centre to target rivals before the Lok Sabha election - to be illegal. He also skipped summons for November 2, December 21, and January 31.

He did not respond to the first because he was campaigning for the Madhya Pradesh election, and ignored the others citing various prior commitments, including a 10-day meditation retreat.

The party has slammed the ED's actions as "politically motivated" and has complained that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "sole aim... is to arrest Arvind Kejriwal and topple the Delhi government".

READ | Arvind Kejriwal Skips 5th Summons, AAP Alleges Plan To Arrest Him

Mr Kejriwal was earlier questioned in this case - for nine hours - by the Central Bureau of Investigation; this was in April last year. He is not an accused so far. "CBI asked 56 questions (but) everything is fake. Am convinced they don't have a single piece of evidence," he had said.

However, two senior AAP members, including ex-Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, have been arrested. Mr Sisodia was arrested in February last year and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh in October.

The case refers to allegations the AAP government's revamped alcohol sales policy allowed it to receive crores in kickbacks from cartels, and that this money was channelled into funding poll expenses in Goa and other states.

NDTV Explains | What Is Delhi Liquor Policy Case Linked To Kejriwal's AAP

Specifically, both the ED and the CBI have alleged the policy allowed cartelisation and favoured certain dealers, who paid bribes for liquor sale licenses.

The AAP has strongly refuted all charges. The Delhi government reported a 27 per cent increase in income from the policy and generated Rs 8,900 crore in revenue. The party has also accused the BJP of manipulating the agency to target it.

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