ED Questions AAP Leaders In Goa Liquor Policy Scam Investigation; Kejriwal's Custody Extended

ED Questions AAP Leaders In Goa Liquor Policy Scam Investigation; Kejriwal's Custody Extended

The leaders were questioned at the probe agency’s office in Goa’s Panjim and were asked to provide data on election campaign expenditure along with details of the source of funds.

Ashish SinghUpdated: Thursday, March 28, 2024, 10:53 PM IST
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AAP Chief Arvind Kejriwal |

In connection with the ongoing investigation into the liquor policy scam, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) recorded the statements of AAP Goa unit chief Amit Palekar, AAP leader Ramrao Wagh, and two others - Dattaprasad Naik and Ashok Naik - on Thursday.

The leaders were questioned at the probe agency’s office in Goa’s Panjim and were asked to provide data on election campaign expenditure along with details of the source of funds.

After six hours of questioning, Amit Palekar stated, "The politics of rivalry is fully unleashed. I appeal to the people to see what is happening and throw out the ruling party. This is not over; I feel this is only the first episode of the drama." The questioning of the other leaders is going on.

Meanwhile, the Rouse Avenue Court has extended Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's custody to the ED until April 1 in connection with the alleged liquor policy scam.

The ED informed the court that ₹45 crore, generated through the liquor scam, was funneled into the Goa Assembly elections of 2021-22. ED stated that they recorded the statement of an AAP candidate who contested in the Goa elections in 2022.

The candidate disclosed that he had no personal funds, and all his election expenditures, including expenses for rallies, events, and hoardings, were covered by the AAP Office in Delhi through their associates. ED also stated that they recorded the statement of three other persons relevant to Kejriwal during the remand period.

During the ED custody period, Sh. C. Arvind, Personal Secretary to then Dy CM Manish Sisodia, who was handed over the draft GoM report 2021-22 at the residence of Sh. Arvind Kejriwal and in his presence, was confronted with him (Kejriwal).

Arguing his own case, Arvind Kejriwal asserted that the motive of the Enforcement Directorate was to crush the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Kejriwal, who was brought to court after his six-day ED custody came to an end, said the ED's only mission was to trap him in liquor policy case. I am not opposing the remand of the ED. The ED can keep me in custody for as many days as it wants, he added.

ED officials stated that Kejriwal is not cooperating with the investigation and is providing evasive replies during the custodial interrogation. They also revealed that data from one mobile phone (belonging to his wife) has been extracted and is being analyzed.

However, data from the other four digital devices seized during the search at Arvind Kejriwal's premises on March 21, belonging to Kejriwal himself, are yet to be extracted as he has sought time to provide the login and password credentials after consulting with his lawyers.

In its remand application for the extension of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's custody, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) claimed that some wholesalers in the national capital were arm-twisted by senior excise officials in Punjab after they refused to pay bribes demanded in Delhi.

The probe agency, in its remand application in court on Thursday, said that during Kejriwal's six-day custody, summons were issued to senior excise officials in Punjab who were involved in the arm-twisting of certain wholesalers of Delhi when they refused to pay the demanded bribes in Delhi.

The factories of these wholesalers were either shut down or not allowed to dispatch their goods in Punjab by Punjab excise officials when the demands for bribes were not fulfilled in Delhi. However, the officials could not appear for these summons due to the hooch tragedy in Sangrur, Punjab, and sought some time.

According to sources, the ED had summoned three Punjab officials, two IAS officers, KAP Sinha and Varun Roojam, and additional excise commissioner Naresh Dubey. 

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