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CM Kejriwal considering skipping ED’s 9th summons, seeks protection from Delhi HC

New Delhi, March 21 (IANS) Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is likely to skip Enforcement Directorate’s ninth summons issued in connection with the now-scrapped excise policy case, as per AAP sources. This decision comes after he submitted a fresh plea to the Delhi High Court seeking protection from coercive action.

Delhi Minister and AAP leader Atishi stated that Kejriwal has approached the high court for safeguard against coercive measures. Atishi mentioned, “If the ED genuinely seeks an investigation, they should assure in court that they will not arrest Arvind Kejriwal.” The ED is perceived as having political motives rather than investigative intentions, claimed Atishi.

Last week, the ED issued the ninth summons to CM Kejriwal in the excise policy case, asking him to appear on Thursday. However, Kejriwal moved the court for no coercive action, expressing concerns about a potential arrest and stating he won’t appear before the agency.

A division bench of Justices Suresh Kumar Kait and Manoj Jain questioned Kejriwal’s absence in response to the summonses. Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing Kejriwal, emphasized that his client is willing to cooperate but requires protection from coercive steps.

The court has set the next hearing for April 22 and instructed the ED to respond to the maintainability of Kejriwal’s plea. Singhvi argued that the issue of political parties being covered under the PMLA is vague and needs clarification.

The plea filed by CM Kejriwal also challenges the constitutionality of certain sections of the PMLA that are interpreted to include political parties. The court noted that the ED usually does not resort to immediate arrests, citing the urgency of Kejriwal’s protection request.

In a related development, a magisterial court granted bail to CM Kejriwal in complaints filed by the ED. The agency alleges that AAP leaders, including Kejriwal and Sisodia, conspired to receive illegal funds in the Delhi excise policy scam case. Assets worth Rs 128.79 crore have been traced and attached as part of the investigation.

A senior ED official revealed, “Till date, the ED has conducted searches on 245 locations across the country. 15 persons including AAP leaders have been arrested in the case so far.” The investigation continues as the legal proceedings unfold.

–IANS
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IANS

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