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Excise Policy: ED files chargesheet against AAP and Arvind Kejriwal

This is the eighth chargesheet filed by the probing agency in the money-laundering in which 18 people have been arrested so far. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a Prosecution Complaint (chargesheet) against the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Arvind Kejriwal in connection with a money laundering case related to the purported excise policy scam. […]

This is the eighth chargesheet filed by the probing agency in the money-laundering in which 18 people have been arrested so far.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a Prosecution Complaint (chargesheet) against the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Arvind Kejriwal in connection with a money laundering case related to the purported excise policy scam. This marks the eighth chargesheet filed by the ED in this case, with 18 individuals arrested thus far. Recently, a similar complaint was lodged against BRS leader and former Telangana chief minister Chandrashekar Rao’s daughter K Kavitha and four others.

Arvind Kejriwal was detained on March 21 in connection with the case, and the apex court granted him interim bail until June 1, with a requirement to surrender on June 2. However, the court imposed restrictions, barring him from accessing his office or the Delhi Secretariat and from signing official documents without the lieutenant governor’s approval unless absolutely necessary.

The case revolves around alleged corruption and money laundering in the formulation and execution of the Delhi government’s excise policy for 2021-22, subsequently annulled. Additional Solicitor General S V Raju informed the Supreme Court that Kejriwal played a significant role in crafting the now-scrapped excise policy, citing evidence that Kejriwal stayed in a seven-star hotel, with bills partially paid by a case defendant. The ED contends that as the national convenor of AAP, Kejriwal was vicariously liable for the purported scam.

The ED had earlier asserted that AAP, as a political party, falls under the definition of an association or body of individual citizens of India, hence categorized as a “company” under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). As Kejriwal was in charge of AAP during the alleged offences, both he and the party are deemed guilty under the anti-money laundering law, subject to prosecution and punishment.

The excise case’s origins trace back to alleged irregularities in formulating and executing Delhi’s excise policy for 2021-22, prompting Delhi Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena to recommend a CBI probe. Subsequently, the ED initiated a case under the PMLA, following the CBI’s FIR lodged on August 17, 2022, filing its money laundering case on August 22, 2022, to investigate the purported irregularities.

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AAPArvind KejriwalEnforcement Directorate (ED)TDGThe Daily Guardian