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ED summons Arvind Kejriwal in another money laundering case linked to DJB

ED summons Arvind Kejriwal in another money laundering case linked to DJB
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New Delhi, Mar 17 (PTI) The Enforcement Directorate has summoned Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a second money laundering case linked to alleged irregularities in the Delhi Jal Board (DJB), official sources said Sunday.

He has been asked to depose before the central agency at its office at A P J Abdul Kalam Road on March 18 and record his statement under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the sources said.

This is the second case registered under the anti-money laundering law in which the 55-year-old politician, also the national convenor of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), has been summoned.

He is already facing summons for questioning in the Delhi excise policy linked money laundering case. Kejriwal has skipped eight summons in this case till now, terming them illegal. A fresh and ninth such notice in the excise policy case stipulates him to appear before the ED investigating officer on March 21.

Reacting to the summons in the second case, Delhi minister Atishi told reporters on Sunday that, “Nobody knows what this DJB case is about. This seems to be a backup plan to arrest Kejriwal anyhow and stop him from campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls”.

The ED, in the DJB case, has alleged that bribe money generated from corruption in a contract issued by this Delhi government department was “passed on” as election funds to the AAP that currently rules the national capital.

The ED raided the premises of Kejriwal’s personal assistant Bibhav Kumar, AAP Rajya Sabha MP N D Gupta, former DJB member Shalabh Kumar, chartered accountant Pankaj Mangal and some others as part of this investigation in February.

A CBI FIR which alleges that former chief engineer of DJB Jagdish Kumar Arora awarded a contract of the DJB to a company NKG Infrastructure Ltd for a total cost of Rs 38 crore despite the fact that the company “did not meet” the technical eligibility criteria, is the basis of the ED case.

The ED arrested Arora and a contractor named Anil Kumar Aggarwal in this case on January 31.

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,” the agency claimed.

An ED statement alleged that Arora “received” bribe in cash and in bank accounts after awarding the contract to NKG Infrastructure Ltd. and that he “passed on” this money to various persons managing the affairs at DJB, including “persons connected with AAP”.

“Bribe amounts were also passed on as election funds to AAP,” it claimed.

This is the second case where the federal agency has charged the AAP with taking kickbacks. It has claimed that bribe money from the scrapped excise policy of 2021-22 was used by the Arvind Kejriwal-led party for campaigning in Goa assembly elections.

The agency said that the DJB contract was awarded at “highly inflated rates” so that the bribes could be collected from the contractors.

“As against the contract value of Rs 38 crore, only about Rs 17 crore was spent towards the contract and the remaining amounts were siphoned off in guise of various fake expenses.”

“Such fake expenses were booked for bribes and election funds,” the ED claimed.

Delhi minister Atishi had claimed in a press briefing after the raids that the officials of the agency just sat in the living room of Bibhav Kumar and took with them only two Gmail account downloads and three family phones.



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