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AAP: Arvind Kejriwal to Skip ED Summons in Delhi Jal Board Case

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal will skip the Enforcement Directorate summons which was issued in connection with a money laundering probe linked to alleged irregularities in the Delhi Jal Board (DJB), the Aam Aadmi Party said. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) also termed the summons “illegal” and accused the BJP government at the Centre of using the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to target Kejriwal.

ED had asked Arvind Kejriwal to be present at its office on APJ Abdul Kalam Road on March 18 to provide his statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Earlier, the AAP had called out the summons to Arvind Kejriwal and hinted at a “political conspiracy”. The party termed it a “backup” plan to stop him from campaigning in the Lok Sabha polls.

“Nobody knows what this Delhi Jal Board (DJB) case is about. This seems to be a backup plan to arrest Kejriwal anyhow and stop him from campaigning in the Lok Sabha polls,” said Delhi minister Atishi at a press conference on Sunday.

Arvind Kejriwal is also facing inquiries in the Delhi excise policy-related money laundering case. He has previously disregarded eight summons in that matter, terming those “illegitimate”. ED has summoned him to appear for questioning on March 21 in that case.

What is the DJB case?

The case is based on a CBI FIR alleging irregularities in a DJB contract awarded to a company named NKG Infrastructure Ltd., for a sum of ₹38 crore by ignoring the technical eligibility criteria. In the DJB case, the ED has claimed that funds obtained through corruption in a contract awarded by the Delhi government’s department were allegedly channelled as election funds to the AAP, the ruling party in Delhi.

The agency said that the DJB contract was awarded at “highly inflated rates” so that bribes could be collected from the contractors. “As against the contract value of ₹38 crore, only about ₹17 crore was spent towards the contract and the remaining amounts were siphoned off in the guise of various fake expenses. Such fake expenses were booked for bribes and election funds,” the ED claimed.

As part of its probe in the case, the agency conducted raids at the residences of Kejriwal’s personal assistant, a Rajya Sabha MP from AAP, a former DJB member, a chartered accountant, and others in February.

ED arrested individuals linked to the contract in the case. Among those arrested were former chief engineer of DJB Jagdish Kumar Arora and contractor Anil Kumar Aggarwal on January 31. The ED claimed that NKG Infrastructure Ltd obtained the bid by submitting “forged” documents and Arora “was aware of the fact that the company does not meet the technical eligibility”.

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(Source: HT)

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