Kejriwal skips ED summons 3rd time, calls it motivated | India News

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NEW DELHI: Calling the Enforcement Directorate summons “motivated” and out of “vexatious” considerations, a ploy to keep him away from campaigning in the forthcoming parliamentary elections, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal skipped his appearance before the agency for the third time on Wednesday in connection with the investigation into the excise policy case. He cited his preoccupation with the Rajya Sabha elections in the national capital and his busy schedule overseeing preparations for Republic Day.
In a letter to the investigating officer in the case, the CM questioned the legality of the summons and said he had twice earlier asked the agency to clarify in what capacity he was summoned – as a witness or a suspect in the case. “Similar notices without any specific details have been held illegal and quashed by courts,” he said while asking the agency to send him a questionnaire if it required any information/documents.
An officer acquainted with the probe said Kejriwal’s letter was “non-compliance of the summons, in gross violation of the law and evasion from investigation”. Investigating agencies never disclose the details of the probe in summons as demanded by the CM, he said, adding, “His legal advisers are only vitiating his case and putting him in trouble.”
The officer further said any illegality of the summons has to be decided by the court and could not be determined by the person who has been summoned.
“Why is he not going to court challenging the ED summons?” he asked.
Respect law and participate in the investigation, says BJP
BJP on Wednesday hit out at chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Jharkhand counterpart, Hemant Soren, for repeatedly skipping the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) summonses and claimed that every “corrupt leader” would be “punished” for their misdeeds under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The party also questioned why Kejriwal did not move court if he felt the action against him was politically motivated. “Gone are the days when corrupt leaders used to rule over the honest citizens. The only place for them is behind bars and it is our firm resolve that every corrupt leader will be punished as per law,” BJP national spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia said.
Bhatia claimed that they would have to face the “consequences of their misdeeds and corruption”, be it Kejriwal, Soren or anyone else”. “Such dramas will not help because Kejriwal knows that handcuffs are coming closer to him,” he alleged.
The BJP leader said never in the history of independent India, someone had “ordered” a probe agency to withdraw its summons. “But Arvind Kejriwal tells ED to withdraw its summons. Arvind Kejriwal, you are not above the law,” he charged, saying it is the right of the probe agencies to take action against corruption “as per evidence”.
BJP’s reaction came after Kejriwal skipped the third ED summons in the Delhi excise policy case and sent a written reply calling the notice illegal. Soren has skipped seven ED summonses in a money laundering case.
Delhi BJP president Virendra Sachdeva said, “The way Kejriwal again evaded the ED notice by presenting weak excuses clearly shows that he does not have faith in the administrative and judicial system of the country. A question arises whether he has any moral ground left to remain the chief minister.”
The party said Kejriwal earlier used to give clean chit to his colleagues, now he was giving clean chit to himself. “Like Kejriwal, MLA Manish Sisodia, MP Sanjay Singh also questioned ED, but later they had to appear before it,” Sachdeva said. “Today despite many efforts, let alone getting bail from any court, they are getting reprimanded,” he added.
The leader of opposition in the Delhi Assembly, Ramvir Singh Bidhuri, said Kejriwal should respect the law and participate in the investigation. “Due to holding a constitutional position, he should also set an example of respecting the law in front of the public.”
Earlier, senior AAP leaders, including Delhi ministers Saurabh Bharadwaj, Atishi and Gopal Rai, and Rajya Sabha member Sandeep Pathak, came out in Kejriwal’s defence. “The entire matter is politically motivated to stop the Delhi CM from campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls,” alleged Bharadwaj. Despite repeated pleas, ED has not clarified whether Kejriwal is being summoned as a witness or an accused, he added. “Manish Sisodia, too, will be proved innocent sooner or later and released.”
Atishi said, “BJP is using ED and CBI to send opposition leaders to jail before the Lok Sabha elections to hinder the success of INDIA.” Rai said, “It’s not necessary to respond to politically motivated summonses by BJP.” Asserting that AAP would have otherwise cooperated, he said even during the civic elections, BJP had raised the issue of alleged corruption, but Delhiites stood with Kejriwal.

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