Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal while adressing a presser said that he has explained to the ED why their summons is illegal and that he will not obey an unlawful order. He said that his biggest strength and asset is his honesty.
New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday refused to appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the alleged Delhi liquor scam case, calling the summons “false” and “illegal”. He also accused the BJP-led central government of using the ED and other agencies to harass and intimidate him and his party leaders ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Addressing a press conference, Kejriwal said that he has explained to the ED why their summons is illegal and that he will not obey an unlawful order. He said that his biggest strength and asset is his honesty and that he has always fought for the country.
“In the last two years, all the agencies of BJP have conducted many raids but not a single penny was found. If there is corruption then where is the money? AAP leaders are kept in jail in such fake cases. Now BJP wants to arrest me. My biggest strength and asset is my honesty,” he said.
He also questioned the timing of the notice, saying that the BJP wants to stop him from campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections. He said that he had cooperated with the CBI when they had called him eight months ago, but now the ED is trying to implicate him in a 31-year-old case.
“My lawyers told me that the summons was illegal, I wrote the question and sent it to ED. Should I obey an unlawful summon? If a legal summons comes, I will comply with it. Why am I being called just before the Lok Sabha elections? Eight months ago I was called by CBI, I went and gave all the answers. Today they want to stop me from campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections,” he added.
Kejriwal also alleged that the BJP is using the ED to lure opposition leaders into joining their party and that they are targeting honest leaders like Manish Sisodia, Sanjay Singh and Vijay Nair. He appealed to the people to support him in his fight against the BJP’s “politics of hatred and vendetta”.
“Today, opposition leaders are being included in the BJP through ED. Whoever joins his party, all his matters get resolved. Today honest leaders like Manish Sisodia, Sanjay Singh and Vijay Nair have been put in jail. I have always fought for the country. Every breath of mine is for the country. We have to save the country together. I am fighting against them with all my heart, I need your support,” he said.
The ED had issued a third summons to Kejriwal on December 22 last year, asking him to appear before the agency on January 3. The summons was in relation to a case registered by the ED in 2019 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against some liquor companies and government officials for allegedly causing a loss of Rs 1,000 crore to the Delhi government by evading excise duty.
Kejriwal, in his reply to the ED, had expressed his readiness to cooperate with the investigation but declined to appear on the summoned date, calling the notice “illegal”. He had also questioned the agency for not responding to his earlier replies when the summons was sent to him and he had raised certain queries on the nature of the agency’s investigation.
In his written reply to the ED, the Delhi CM had said “As a premier investigating agency the non-disclosure and non-response approach adopted by you cannot sustain the test of law, equity or justice. Your obstinacy is tantamount to assuming the role of judge, jury and executioner at the same time which is not acceptable in our country governed by the rule of law.”
“In these circumstances, I urge you to respond to my earlier response and clarify the position so as to enable me to understand the real intent, ambit, nature, sweep and scope of the purported inquiry/investigation for which I am being called” he had added in his response.