New Delhi, May 24
The Enforcement Directorate today conducted fresh searches, including at the premises of some of the close aides of AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, in the national capital in connection with its ongoing probe under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) into the alleged irregularities in the formulation and implementation of Delhi excise policy, officials said.
I had exposed the dictatorship and bullying of the ED in front of the whole country. I brought it to the notice of the nation how the ED is misusing its institution and powers to falsely implicate people in the excise policy case. Sanjay Singh, Rajya Sabha MP
Agitated over the ED’s move, AAP leader Singh issued a Twitter video message, saying two of his associates - Ajit Tyagi and Sarvesh Mishra - are also being raided by the federal agency.
Officials in the agency said that about half-a-dozen entities were covered under the searches, which were undertaken under provisions of the PMLA. They said the search operation was launched after fresh inputs emerged during the questioning of a few accused.
The MP had some time back written to the Union Finance Secretary seeking sanction to prosecute the ED Director and an Assistant Director and the investigating officer of the excise policy case for allegedly making “false and derogatory claims” against him in connection with this probe.
ED sources had then said that the agency had filed an application on April 20 in a court seeking to correct a “typographical/clerical” error related to the name of Sanjay Singh in its chargesheet. They said Singh’s name appears four times in the chargesheet out of which one reference was wrong as his name was typed “inadvertently” in place of Rahul Singh’s.
It is alleged by the ED and the CBI that the Delhi Government’s excise policy for 2021-22 to grant licences to liquor traders allowed cartelisation and favoured certain dealers, who had allegedly paid bribes, a charge strongly refuted by the AAP.
In his video message, Singh said, “I had exposed the dictatorship and bullying of ED in front of the whole country. I brought it to the notice of the whole country how ED is misusing its institution and powers to falsely implicate people in the excise policy case.”
Calling the raids “dictatorship” on the orders of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the AAP MP said that his fight would continue.
“I got to know this morning that raids have been conducted at the house of my colleagues Ajit Tyagi and Sarvesh Mishra. But I would again say that our fight will continue till the last,” he said, adding that he would move to HC and SC, if required.
On its part, the AAP accused the BJP of taking revenge after Singh made the ED apologise to him. “Every opposition leader who raises their voice against the Centre is being targeted. We strongly condemn the BJP’s vendetta politics,” AAP leader Saurabh Bhardwaj said.
It is to be noted that former Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia is under judicial custody in connection with the alleged scam in the excise policy case. He has been arrested by both the CBI and the ED in the probe.
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