After skipping the Enforcement Directorate (ED)'s second summons in connection with the alleged excise policy case, Delhi Chief Minister and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal has dubbed the central agency’s move as "illegal and politically-motivated".
Kejriwal, who left for a 10-day Vipassana Meditation Course from December 19 to 30, in his reply to the financial probe agency said that he was ready to accept all legally-valid summons.
In his six-page reply to the ED, Kejriwal said that on the eve of his departure for the Vipassana, which has been widely published and largely circulated all over the media in the country as well as officially announced, to his utter dismay and concern, he received the summons on December 18 for a purported appearance in person on December 21.
"The timing of your summons leaves much to desire and strengthens my belief that the summons being sent to me are not based upon any objective or rational yardstick but purely as a propaganda as well as to create sensational news in the final few months of the much-awaited parliamentary elections in the country," he said.
The AAP national convenor also said, "I still do not know in which capacity am I being summoned as a witness or suspect, or as Chief Minister, Delhi or as Aam Aadmi Party's national convenor."
He said, “You have chosen not to inform me nor provide me details of the case file corresponding to file number mentioned in your summons or the reasons for summoning me or any details thereof.”
He also said that the summons appears to be a "fishing and roving enquiry" in similar circumstances, where individuals are neither informed about the case details nor the capacity in which they are being summoned by the ED.
"As you are aware, I am holding a sensitive constitutional post as an elected leader and incumbent Chief Minister of Delhi. I have lived a life of dignity, honour and with complete transparency," he said.
Kejriwal said that he is a "conscientious law abiding ordinary citizen of the country" and does not shirk away from complying with any summons issued in compliance with law "but your summons is (I am advised) not in consonance with law".
"The fact that you have deliberately sought my appearance only in person without specifying any reason or necessity thereof when the said Act itself provides for appearance through authorised persons, is indicative of the motive to harass and embarrass me," the Chief Minister said.
The AAP leader said that he has been advised that a political party is not covered within the purview of the Prevention Money Laundering Act, 2002 at all.
"The timing of your summons leaves much to desire and strengthens my belief that the summons being sent to me are not based upon any objective or rational yardstick but for extraneous considerations at the behest of political rivals, who wish to silence the voice of Opposition to the ruling dispensation at the Centre to create sensational news in the final few months leading up to the Parliamentary elections in early to mid-2024," Kejriwal said.
"I, therefore, once again reiterate my request you to act with fairness and forthwith revoke, withdraw, and recall the summons forthwith," Kejriwal added.
Earlier, Kejriwal had skipped the ED summons on November 2. The ED had already arrested former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh in connection with the case.