Kejriwal skips ED summons again

The Asian Age.

India, Crime

So far, he has skipped seven summonses by the ED

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal (PTI)

New Delhi: Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday skipped the seventh Enforcement Directorate summons to him over the money-laundering probe linked to the Delhi excise policy scam case, saying he will appear before the agency if a court orders him to do so.

So far, he has skipped seven summonses by the ED. The ED issued the seventh summons to the Delhi chief minister last week, asking him to appear before it for questioning. “If the court says go, then I will go,” Mr Kejriwal said.

The Delhi CM and his party have alleged that the summonses issued by the ED were “illegal”.

While he visited Rajghat along with ministers and MLAs of the AAP to mark one year of the arrest of his former deputy Manish Sisodia in connection with the case, alleging that the summons was a tool to pressure him into leaving the INDIA bloc.

He asserted that the AAP would not break its alliance with the Congress, another constituent of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA), with which his party has entered into a seat-sharing deal in Delhi, Haryana and Gujarat for the Lok Sabha polls.

“They want us to break the alliance. Their message basically is that we should quit the alliance,” he said, claiming there were informal messages to that effect from different quarters.

A city court, approached by the ED over Mr Kejriwal not turning up after its summonses, has directed the Delhi chief minister to appear before it on March 16.

The AAP convenor sought to know whether the Union government and the ED do not trust the court and said the probe agency itself moved the court in the matter and they should now wait for its order. Mr Kejriwal complained that the Central probe agency has been issuing him summons after summons even as the court was hearing the matter.

Earlier the day, the AAP said Mr Kejriwal would not appear before the ED, adding the agency should wait for the court order instead of sending summonses.

The ED, while issuing the seventh summons, had rejected the contention that a fresh notice for Mr Kejriwal's attendance was wrong as the matter was sub-judice before a local court.

Taking a dig at the AAP, BJP spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla said: “Mr Kejriwal should be given a prize for being ‘Bhagoda No. 1’ (absconder number 1). He is the same Arvind Kejriwal who earlier used to say that during a probe,  a person should first resign and cooperate with the agencies  till completion of the probe, but now he even refuses to cooperate with the investigation agencies. He should get the Nobel Prize in the areas of corruption, lying and doing drama…”