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Court exempts Kejriwal from appearance in case of evading ED summons

Published:

NEW DELHI: A

Delhi court

has granted chief minister Arvind

Kejriwal

exemption from

personal appearance

for the day in connection with a complaint filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). The complaint alleges non-compliance with summonses related to a money laundering case linked to the now-scrapped excise policy.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Divya Malhotra granted the relief after Kejriwal appeared before the court via video conferencing and requested

exemption

from physical appearance for the day.

The court considered the application moved by Kejriwal’s counsel, citing his active role in the ongoing Budget Session of the Delhi Legislative Assembly, which commenced on February 15 and is expected to continue until the first week of March 2024.
The application emphasized Kejriwal’s position as the Chief Minister of GNCT of Delhi and Leader of the House of the Delhi Legislative Assembly, requiring his active participation in the ongoing Assembly Session. The court accepted the application and adjourned the matter to March 16, 2024, after the conclusion of the Budget Session.
Senior Advocate Ramesh Gupta, representing Kejriwal, assured that the Chief Minister would physically appear on the next date of hearing. The ED did not oppose the application for exemption.

The ED’s complaint alleges that Kejriwal intentionally avoided obeying summonses and provided “lame excuses.” The agency expressed concern that such behavior by a high-ranking public functionary could set a wrong example for the common man. The court had earlier found prima facie evidence of an offence under Section 174 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and issued summonses to Kejriwal.
Section 174 of the IPC pertains to non-attendance in obedience to an order from a public servant. The ED filed a fresh complaint against Kejriwal on February 3 for non-compliance with summonses. Kejriwal, in response, deemed the summonses “illegal and politically motivated,” alleging that they aimed to hinder his election campaigning. The ED has issued six summonses to Kejriwal, with the latest one scheduled for February 19.

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