Business Standard

Excise policy case: Kejriwal 'kingpin', AAP 'major beneficiary', says ED

Agency alleges Delhi Chief Minister sought Rs 100 crore in kickbacks from South Group members for a liquor sales contract, of which Rs 45 crore reportedly financed the Goa elections

Kejriwal, Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi CM

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal (Photo: PTI)

Rimjhim Singh New Delhi

Listen to This Article

The Enforcement Directorate has accused Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of being the "kingpin and key conspirator" and his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as "major beneficiary of proceeds of crime".

The federal agency filed its seventh supplementary charge sheet on alleged financial irregularities linked to the now-defunct excise policy of 2021-22. Special Judge Kaveri Baweja on Tuesday took cognisance of the 208-page document, which lists Kejriwal and AAP as the accused.

Kejriwal was "knowingly involved in the use of proceeds of crime generated in the Goa election campaign of AAP" in 2022 and was "intrinsically and actually involved in the entire conspiracy" in the alleged scam, according to the charge sheet.

It alleged that Kejriwal sought Rs 100 crore in kickbacks from the so-called South Group members for a liquor sales contract, of which Rs 45 crore was allegedly used to finance AAP’s Goa election campaign.

ED alleged that Kejriwal told the agency that Vijay Nair, former AAP communications-in-charge and co-accused in the case, reported to Delhi ministers Atishi and Saurabh Bharadwaj, not him. The ED also asserted that the Kejriwal said Durgesh Pathak was responsible for Goa as the state prabhari (in-charge) and managed funds, denying any involvement in fund-related decisions or receiving kickbacks from K Kavita, a Bharat Rashtra Samithi functionary and co-accused.

According to the ED, screenshots of chats between Kejriwal and Vinod Chauhan showed their close relationship. The agency claimed that hawala note numbers found on Chauhan's phone matched data seized by income tax officers, indicating Chauhan's involvement in transferring Rs 25 crore through hawala for Goa elections.

The chargesheet further alleged that Chauhan's influence over the Delhi chief minister was evident in how he managed postings at the Delhi Jal Board.

According to the charge sheet, Kejriwal allegedly used a portion of the proceeds of crime for personal purposes. This occurred when Chanpreet Singh, tasked with managing funds from Chauhan in Goa, arranged and paid for Kejriwal's stay at a five-star hotel in November 2021. The ED asserted that Singh failed to provide a satisfactory explanation for this expenditure.

The chargesheet stated, "This is a complete and direct money trail of the proceeds of crime transferred from the South Group to the AAP elections."

According to the charge sheet, it was noted that Kejriwal deliberately ignored nine summons from the ED requesting his appearance for questioning. The document further alleges that during his responses, the chief minister said he was unaware about the ten meetings between Nair and other co-accused in the liquor trade, such as liquor manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and intermediaries like Dinesh Arora and Abhishek Boinpally.

“Despite being presented with evidence, including phone call records, data seized by the income tax department from a firm in Goa, and WhatsApp messages indicating arrangements for payments in cash and through invoices totalling about Rs 45 crore through hawala transactions, Arvind Kejriwal maintained he had no knowledge of these transactions, the chargesheet said.

(With agency inputs)

Don't miss the most important news and views of the day. Get them on our Telegram channel

First Published: Jul 11 2024 | 1:32 PM IST

Explore News