The Delhi Liquor Policy Case Updates- The Enforcement Directorate (ED) issued summons to the Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).The Aam Aadmi Party has levelled serious allegations that the BJP-led government at the Center is trying every possible means to destroy the party by arresting Arvind Kejriwal.
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KEJRIWAL SKIPS ED SUMMONS
he Delhi Chief Minister will not be attending the ED summons and will instead be in the poll-bound Madhya Pradesh along with Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann where he will be holding roadshows as per reports. Mr. Kejriwal had been questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation in April this year concerning the liquor case and it is the first time that the ED has summoned him. The CBI report pointed out the involvement of liquor companies in framing the excise policy from which they would have got 12% profit. It stated that a liquor lobby paid the kickbacks which the Enforcement Directorate is currently probing.
CM Kejriwal in his reply to the ED, has asked it to take back the summons to him in connection with the liquor policy case terming it as an “illegal, politically motivated, vague and unsustainable in law”. He also mentioned that the notice had been sent to him at the behest of BJP. As per the sources, the ED may likely issue fresh summons to Kejriwal in the liquor policy case. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) members, Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh are already in judicial custody regarding this case.
The AAP has accused the BJP of vendetta and stated that it is a well-thought-of conspiracy of the BJP to target the leaders of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) and that Kejriwal will be the first one to be arrested ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. Through the ED, the BJP wants to destroy the party which is in power in Delhi and Punjab.
The BJP has responded to Kejriwal’s letter saying that the law will take its course and the ED has summoned him as per the law. Earlier this year Manish Sisodia was arrested in connection to irregularities in the Delhi Liquor Case and the court had directed to complete the trial in six to eight months.
WHAT IS DELHI LIQUOR CASE?
In 2021, the Delhi government had brought a new policy for the liquor sellers. In this new policy, the government allowed private entities to apply for licenses to run stores and stopped government outlets from selling liquor. As per Kejriwal’s government, this policy would increase government revenue, stop black marketing and benefit the customers. The liquor stores were allowed to open even after midnight and huge discounts were provided. With this new policy, there was an increase in sales of many private liquor stores and the government claimed a 27% rise in the collections. The opposition party (BJP) strongly criticized the new liquor policy and accused the government of promoting “liquor culture”.
In 2022, the Delhi Chief Secretary identified some major rule violations in the new liquor policy. He pointed out that during the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a Rs144 crore rebate in liquor license fees. Following this, the Central Bureau of Investigation was asked to look into the matter. There were many allegations against the Delhi government for which it withdrew the new liquor policy and the sale of liquor came back under the government control.
In 2022, the CBI raided the home of Mr. Manish Sisodia and the ED joined the probe. The ED had alleged that there was an involvement of a “South Group”.