In a significant development, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued a summons to Delhi’s Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal, for questioning in the ongoing Delhi excise policy case. This summons comes on the heels of the Supreme Court’s recent decision to reject the bail plea of Kejriwal’s former deputy, Manish Sisodia, in the same case. The Supreme Court has also directed that the trials related to the investigations being conducted by both the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate be completed within the next eight months.
Reacting to this latest development, Delhi’s Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj expressed his concerns, stating, “As per the news that the Central Government’s ED has sent a summons to Delhi CM, it becomes clear that the Centre’s sole objective is to somehow eliminate AAP. They are sparing no effort in fabricating a false case to imprison CM Arvind Kejriwal and extinguish AAP.”
On April 16, Arvind Kejriwal spent around nine hours answering questions from the CBI in connection with the corruption and criminal conspiracy probe related to the excise policy case. Kejriwal, in his response to the CBI’s questioning, had remarked, “I was called at 11 am, and they questioned me until 8.30 pm. They questioned me in a cordial atmosphere. I want to thank CBI officers for their hospitality and courtesy. I answered all the questions because I did not have anything to hide.”
Notably, two Aam Aadmi Party leaders, Manish Sisodia, and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, are currently incarcerated in connection with the same case.
The Delhi excise policy was implemented by the Arvind Kejriwal government in November 2021 but was scrapped on July 31 of the following year after facing scrutiny.
The CBI registered a case on August 17, 2022, regarding alleged irregularities in the policy’s implementation, implicating 15 individuals, including Manish Sisodia. Just two days later, the CBI conducted searches at the AAP leader’s premises in Delhi.
On October 17, 2022, Manish Sisodia endured an eight-hour-long questioning session by the CBI. On February 18, 2023, he was summoned once again by the CBI, shortly after the agency had filed a chargesheet in the case. Finally, the AAP leader was arrested on February 26 by the central agency.