Arvind Kejriwal appears before Delhi Court through Video Conferencing

New Delhi, Feb 17 (UNI) Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal appeared before a Delhi Court through Video Conferencing on Saturday and complied with the summons issued on a complaint case filed by Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Counsel for Kejriwal moved an exemption application for physical appearance by submitting before the court that Kejriwal is not in a position to appear before the court physically due to the ongoing Budget Session of the Delhi Assembly which will continue till March, 1 and requested any date after that.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate(ACMM) Divya Malhotra after hearing the submission adjourned the matter for his appearance/further proceedings for March, 16 at 10.15 A.M.

Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a complaint case against Kejriwal for non compliance of the summons issued under the provisions of Prevention Money Laundering Act(PMLA) in a case related to the alleged liquor policy scam and after hearing on the last date the court took cognizance of the complaint. It issued summons against Arvind Kejriwal for the offence under Section 174 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 for 17.02.2024.

During the last date of hearing the court has said, ” The pivot of the investigation is the Delhi Excise Policy, 2021-2022 floated by the Delhi Government. As per the complaint, the investigation carried out so far has revealed that the said policy was formulated as a part of a criminal conspiracy by the leaders of Aam Aadmi Party (hereinafter referred to as “AAP”) with deliberate loopholes to generate and channelize illegal funds unto themselves as well as to AAP.

A prosecution Complaint was filed by the agency for the offence of money laundering before the concerned Ld. Special Court which, it is stated, took cognizance of the offence and summoned the accused persons. During the course of investigation, some arrests including that of several leaders of AAP were also made.”

ED has said,” to unearth the role of others, including that of the proposed accused, and to trace further proceeds of the crime, the Investigating Officer sought to examine the proposed accused for the purposes of investigation and summoned him in exercise of his powers under Section 50(2) of the Act. The proposed accused is the National Convenor as well as Member of the National Executive Committee of AAP.”

The Court said,” The grievance of the complainant vide the present complaint, in a nutshell, is the non-compliance of the summonses issued by the Investigating Officer in exercise of his powers under Section 50(2) of the Act. The complainant is investigating the matter registered vide ECIR/HIU-II/14/2022 dated 22.08.2022 revolving around the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-2022. In pursuance of such investigation, a total of four summonses were issued, the details whereof have already been mentioned. However, we are only concerned with the first three summons dated 30.10.2023, 18.12.2023 and 22.12.2023 (in short the “summons in question”), which form the subject matter of the present complaint.”.

The Court said, “The copies of the summons in question i.e. dated 30.10.2023 requiring attendance of the respondent (proposed accused) on 02.11.2023; dated 18.12.2023 requiring his attendance on 21.12.2023 and dated 22.12.2023 requiring his attendance on 03.01.2024 “to give evidence in connection with the investigation or proceedings under PMLA” in ECIR/HIU II/14/2022 issued by the then Investigating Officer Mr. Jogender, Assistant Director, ED have been filed along with the complaint.

His authority to issue such summonses flows from Section 50(2) of the Act. The summonses have been addressed to the respondent/proposed accused at his official e-mail address.The delivery of such summonses is prima facie evidenced from the fact that the proposed accused sent replies to them vide letters/replies dated 02.11.2023; 20.12.2023 and 03.01.2024 respectively wherein interalia reasons for non-appearance were set out.

By virtue of Section 50(3) of the Act, the respondent of the summonses i.e. the proposed accused was legally bound to attend in person in pursuance of the same but purportedly he failed to do so.”

The Investigating Agency after that filed a complaint case under Section 190 (1)(a) of Cr.P.C. read with Section 200 of the Code, Section 174 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and Section 63 (4) of PMLA, 2002 against Kejriwal before the Rouse Avenue Court, New Delhi.

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