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Delhi sessions court reserves order on CM Kejriwal's plea in ED complaint case

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Delhi sessions court reserves order on CM Kejriwal's plea in ED complaint case

New Delhi, March 15 (IANS) A sessions court on Friday reserved its order on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s plea in the liquor policy case and is likely to pronounce it later in the day.

CM Kejriwal has challenged the two summons issued to him by a magisterial court on Enforcement Directorate’s complaint in the case.

The ED had filed a complaint that CM Kejriwal had not complied with its summons in connection with a money laundering case related to the now-scrapped policy.

On Thursday, Special Judge Rakesh Syal of Rouse Avenue Court heard the arguments at length by both parties in one of the revision petitions.

CM Kejriwal has filed two revision petitions against Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Divya Malhotra’s orders issuing summons to him on the ED’s complaint. On March 7, she had issued second summons and had put up the matter for hearing on March 16, when she is set to hear the ED’s first complaint on the same matter.

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On Friday, Senior Advocate Ramesh Gupta and Advocate Rajiv Mohan appeared for CM Kejriwal and Additional Solicitor General (ASG), S.V. Raju for the federal agency.

Since CM Kejriwal has to appear before the magisterial court on Saturday, Senior Advocate Gupta had urged the court for “exemption of petitioner (CM Kejriwal) through a lawyer or a stay or court may be asked to adjourn the matter to the date which the sessions court fixes”. He had added, “Order of summoning is a revisable order. Maybe this court only exempts me from appearance. It is a summoning trial case. Maximum punishment is one month or fine or both.”

On the other hand, Additional Solicitor General Raju had said: “The modus operandi was to move the court at the last minute, put pressure on the court and say tomorrow I’ve to appear, grant me stay otherwise the heavens are going to fall. Heavens didn’t fall for so many days.”

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The ACMM on February 17 granted a day’s exemption from physical appearance to the CM in connection with the first complaint filed by the ED over the same issue. The second complaint pertains to “CM Kejriwal not abiding by the summons number 4 to 8”, a source said.

The AAP Convenor had earlier requested the financial probe agency for a date after March 12 for questioning on the excise policy matter. His response had come after the ED issued summons to him for the eighth time on February 27 and asked him to appear before it on March 4.

ACMM Malhotra had taken cognisance of the first complaint on February 7. The judge had then said, “.. summons are being issued to him to appear on February 17.”

The ED, on January 31, issued summons to CM Kejriwal for the fifth time, and he was told to appear before it on February 2. The financial probe agency’s complaint alleged that the CM intentionally did not want to obey the summons and kept on giving “lame excuses”.

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“If a high-ranking public functionary like him disobeyed the law, it would set a wrong example for the common man,” the agency had said.

The ED had issued summons for the fourth time to CM Kejriwal on January 13, asking him to appear before it on January 18. On February 2, the AAP said that CM Kejriwal would not appear before the ED for questioning, and also targeted the Central government.

–IANS

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