Excise case: Sessions Court refuses to stay summons issued to Kejriwal on ED’s complaints

Public TV English
11 Min Read

NEW DELHI: The Sessions Court of Rouse Avenue Court on Friday refused to stay the summons issued to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on complaints filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). Kejriwal has challenged the summons issued by the court for not complying with the summons issued by the central probe agency in the Delhi liquor policy money laundering case.

Special judge (CBI) Rakesh Syal passed an order on Friday after hearing at length both sides. ASG S V Raju alongwith Zoheb Hossain and Simon Benjamin appeared for ED and Senior Advocate Ramesh Gupta along with Advocate Rajiv Mohan appeared for Arvind Kejriwal.

It was submitted by Senior Advocate Ramesh Gupta that there was no disobedience by Kejriwal. A person can be summoned only when his non-appearance is intentional. He replied to each summons and informed that he could not come due to his responsibility as the Chief Minister.

The senior advocate also argued that Kejriwal was not given show cause notice by the ED before filing these complaints. He is a public servant therefore a prior sanction was required to prosecute him which was not obtained.

“I (Kejriwal) have not failed, I mentioned the reasons for not appearing. I went to the CBI office in 2023. Purpose and reasons of calling me personally not cleared by the ED,” the Senior counsel submitted.

He also submitted that Summons were deliberately sent for dates on which he was busy with public functions like budget preparation. “The trial court did not consider my replies to ED that I can’t come as busy in the public function as CM. Can it be called intentional?,” Senior counsel further submitted.

Advocate Rajiv Mohan argued on the second revision moved by Kejriwal. It was submitted that the summons was issued in haste without application of judicial mind. Advocate Rajiv Mohan argued that the trial court issued a summons on the same day after taking cognizance. The trial court also did not consider the responses by Kejriwal to the summons issued by the ED, he added.

Counsel for Kejriwal said that to prosecute him under 174 CR.pc there should be disobedience and intention. The court first decides whether there is any disobedience or not.

The trial court did not consider this aspect. A person is being made an accused and order is passed in a cryptic manner, counsel argued.

He further submitted that the Trial court considered the version of the complainant as gospel truth. The order of summoning was passed without mindful consideration and applying judicial mind.

The word in person is not in the form for issuing summons prescribed by the legislature, the counsel submitted. This form can’t be interpolated.
“Due to failure of justice an ordinary citizen is an accused before the court as judicial mind was not applied by the court,” Rajiv Mohan argued.
There was an interpolation in the form, incorporating the word in person. A person can not be summoned in person to produce evidence, he submitted.

On the other hand, ASG S V Raju opposed the submissions by Kejriwal’s counsels and submitted whether was disobedience intentional or not is a matter of trial. This revision is against the order of summoning, he added.

ASG submitted that the Assistant Director, Deputy Director and Joint Director are legally empowered to summon any person to produce evidence.
If the evidence asked for is not given, then that is intentional disobedience, ASG Raju Submitted.

Summons were in accordance with the law. Any person can be summoned in person under PMLA, ASG added.

There was international disobedience as he attended the CBI office in 2023 but did not wish to attend the ED office. He can travel to various states for campaigns but can’t come to the ED office for one day, the ASG submitted.

ASG also argued that it is immaterial that weather you (Kejriwal ) were summoned as a witness or accused.

There was clear disobedience on the part of the revisionist, he added.

In rebuttal, senior advocate Ramesh Gupta said they have not responded to three of my replies. And it was not considered by the trial court.
On Thursday it was submitted that The Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal gave a reply to each and every notice issued by the Directorate of Enforcement but despite coming to know of the reasons for non-appearance in person provided by him, the Directorate of Enforcement continued issuing cyclostyle notices under Sections 50 PMLA.

Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday moved the Sessions Court challenging summons issued to him by Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate on ED complaints for not complying with the summons issued by the central probe agency in the Delhi liquor policy money laundering case.

Kejriwal while challenging the summons in sessions court further submitted that there was no intentional disobedience on his part and he always explained the reason which to date has not been controverted or found false by the Department.

Kejriwal through a plea sought the direction of the sessions court to stay proceedings adjudication before an additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate.
The Special Judge Rakesh Syal heard the matter at length from both sides amd listed the matter for Friday for further arguements in the matter.

Kejriwal through revision petitions has challenged both the summons issued to him by the Magistrate court.

Senior Advocate Ramesh Gupta alongwith Mudit Jain, Mohd Irshad and Samprikta Ghosal appeared for the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the matter while Additional Solicitor General SV Raju alongwith Special Counsel Zoheb Hossain appeared for Enforcement Directorate in the matter. Advocate Simon Benjamin also appeared in the ED in the matter.

ED opposed Delhi CM’s plea seeking interim relief in the case and said Arvind Kejriwal earlier appeared through Video conferencing on February 17 and said that he will appear on March 16. He suppressed these facts and didn’t annexe that order in his plea. After a month, he came here and asked for an exemption. This is dishonest conduct on the face of it. Therefore, he is not entitled to interim relief.

Last week, the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate took cognizance of the Enforcement Directorate’s second complaint and issued a fresh summons to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for his personal appearance before the court on March 16.

ED recently moved the court with a second complaint for allegedly not complying with the summons in the alleged Delhi liquor policy money laundering case.

The Enforcement Directorate has moved that a second complaint has been filed against Arvind Kejriwal under Section 190 (1)(a) CrPC r/w section 200 CrPC 1973 r/w section 174 IPC, 1860 r/w section 63 (4) of PMLA, 2002 for non-attendance in compliance with Section 50, PMLA, 2002.

Earlier too, the ED filed a complaint against Arvind Kejriwal in which the court issued a summons to him in the matter.

Following the summons order, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal appeared virtually before the court on the ED’s complaint against him for allegedly non-compliance with the summons order.

Arvind Kejriwal, while appearing, virtually informed the court that he wanted to join the court proceedings physically but due to the confidence motion and budget sessions, he couldn’t come physically before the court.

In the first ED’s complaint, Rouse Avenue Court on February 7, 2024, took cognizance of the Enforcement Directorate’s recent complaint filed against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for not complying with the summons issued by the central probe agency in the Delhi liquor policy money laundering case.

According to the ED, the agency wants to record Kejriwal’s statement in the case on issues like the formulation of policy, meetings held before it was finalized, and allegations of bribery.

In its sixth charge sheet filed in the case on December 2, 2023, naming AAP leader Sanjay Singh and his aide Sarvesh Mishra, the ED has claimed that the AAP used kickbacks worth Rs 45 crore generated via the policy as part of its assembly elections campaign in Goa in 2022.

The excise policy was aimed at revitalizing the city’s flagging liquor business and replacing a sales-volume-based regime with a licence fee for traders. It promised swankier stores and a better buying experience. The policy introduced discounts and offers on the purchase of liquor for the first time in Delhi.

Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena’s move to order a probe into alleged irregularities in the regime prompted the scrapping of the policy. The AAP has accused Saxena’s predecessor, Anil Baijal, of sabotaging the move with a few last-minute changes that resulted in lower-than-expected revenues.

Two senior AAP leaders, Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh, are already under judicial custody in the case.

Sisodia, who was the then Delhi Deputy Chief Minister, was arrested by the CBI on February 26 following several rounds of questioning. On October 5, the ED arrested Sanjay Singh, who is a Rajya Sabha member. (ANI)

Share This Article
Exit mobile version