Excise 'scam': AAP will be made co-accused in money laundering case, ED tells Delhi High Court : The Tribune India

Join Whatsapp Channel

Excise 'scam': AAP will be made co-accused in money laundering case, ED tells Delhi High Court

Political parties can be prosecuted for money laundering, Delhi High Court had ruled last month

Excise 'scam': AAP will be made co-accused in money laundering case, ED tells Delhi High Court

The high court, which was hearing arguments on Manish Sisodia's bail pleas filed in cases lodged by ED and CBI, reserved its orders. PTI file



Tribune News Service

Satya Prakash

New Delhi, May 14

A month after the Delhi High Court ruled that political parties can be prosecuted for money laundering, the Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday said it will make the Aam Aadmi Party an accused in the money laundering case linked to the Delhi excise policy scam.

“AAP is going to be made a co-accused in the next prosecution complaint (charge sheet) to be filed in the case,” the ED's counsel told Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma, opposing the bail plea of senior AAP leader and former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia in a money laundering case.

Justice Sharma reserved her verdict on Sisodia's bail pleas in money laundering and corruption cases lodged by the ED and CBI respectively.

Interestingly, it was Justice Sharma who had last month ruled that a political party can be prosecuted under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

While dismissing Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s petition challenging his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate, Justice Sharma had on April 9 held that the definition of ‘political party’ under the Representation of Peoples Act and definition of ‘company’ under the PMLA were identical.

After examining the two definitions, Justice Sharma had said, “this Court is of the opinion that the definition of ‘political party’ as per Section 2(f) of the Representation of Peoples Act is that a political party means an ‘association or body of individuals’. As per Explanation-1 of Section 70 of PMLA, a ‘company’ also means an ‘association of individuals’.”

The high court had upheld Kejriwal’s arrest as he was the national convener of AAP which allegedly used proceeds of the crime in the 2022 Goa Assembly polls.

On Tuesday, the CBI adopted the submissions made by the ED counsel who alleged that accused persons were making concerted efforts to delay the process of framing of charges in the case.

On behalf of Sisodia, senior counsel Mohit Mathur denied the allegations of the accused attempting to delay the proceedings.

However, the ED counsel said, “Accused no. 31 comes forward and says that in the last two months I have inspected only 100 documents, 1600 out of 1700 remained to be inspected. Accused no. 31 is the spokesperson of this party (AAP) which will also be made an accused in the next prosecution complaint.”

Sisodia has challenged a Delhi Special Court’s April 30 order dismissing his bail pleas in corruption and money laundering cases lodged by the CBI and the ED in connection with alleged irregularities in formulation and implementation of Delhi excise policy 2021-22.

Sisodia was arrested by the CBI on February 26, 2023 for his alleged role in the ‘scam’ and he resigned from the Delhi cabinet two days later. The ED arrested him in a money-laundering case related to the scam on March 9, 2023 after questioning him in Tihar Jail.

The Delhi government had implemented the new excise policy on November 17, 2021, but scrapped it at the end of September 2022 amid allegations of corruption. The profit margin of wholesalers was increased from 5 per cent to 12 per cent under the new policy, the probe agencies alleged.

The new policy resulted in cartelisation and those ineligible for liquor licences were favoured for monetary benefits, the agencies alleged. However, Sisodia denied any wrongdoing and claimed the new policy would have led to an increase in the city government's revenue.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had on December 14, 2023 dismissed Sisodia’s pleas seeking review of its October 30, 2023 verdict dismissing his bail petitions in corruption and money laundering cases related to the scam.

The top court had denied him bail, saying the allegations by the probe agencies that ‘windfall gains’ of Rs 338 crore was made by a few wholesale distributors was ‘tentatively supported’ by evidence.

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

#Aam Aadmi Party AAP #Enforcement Directorate


Top News

Assembly elections in J-K before September 30, next step statehood, says Home Minister Amit Shah

Assembly elections in J-K before September 30; next step statehood, says Union Home Minister Amit Shah

Shah says the possible merger of PoK with Jammu and Kashmir ...

Six newborns die in fire at East Delhi children's hospital

7 newborns die in fire at children's hospital in East Delhi’s Vivek Vihar

Action is being initiated against the owner of the hospital

Remal intensifies into severe cyclonic storm, to make landfall by Sunday midnight

Remal intensifies into severe cyclonic storm, to make landfall by Sunday midnight

The severe cyclone is set to bring extremely heavy rain in t...

Punjab Police, BSF bust drug smuggling racket; arrest 7 members

Punjab Police, BSF bust drug smuggling racket; arrest 7 members

Seize 5.47 kg heroin, Rs 1.7 lakh drug money and 40 cartridg...


Cities

View All