ED to Delhi High Court: AAP will be made Accused in Liquor Policy Case

Published on: May 14, 2024 16:11 IST

Enforcement Directorate has informed the Delhi High Court that Aam Aadmi Party will be made an accused in the alleged liquor policy scam, which has seen three of its key leaders- including AAM Admi Party chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal – land behind bars. This will be the first time a political party will be made an accused in a case. 

The probe agency has told the court, which was hearing the bail plea of AAP leader and former Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, that a supplementary chargesheet will be filed in the case and the party will be named in it.

The Enforcement Directorate is probing the money laundering angle of the alleged scam and the move comes just days after the Supreme Court granted Mr Kejriwal interim bail to campaign in the Lok Sabha elections.

In October last year, the question of making the AAP an accused was raised by the Supreme Court, which had asked why the political party was not being named if it had – as per the ED’s claims – benefited from the alleged kickbacks in the liquor police case. 

“As far as the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) is concerned, your whole case is that the benefits went to a political party. That political party is still not made an accused or Impleaded. How do you answer that? The political party is the beneficiary according to you,”Delhi High Court bench of justices Sanjiv Khanna and SV Bhatti had said.

The next day, the court had clarified that its query was “not to implicate any political party” and was “just a legal question”. 

Officials have been saying that the probe agency is treating the political party as a company and, by that logic, Arvind Kejriwal would be the CEO. The classification would help the ED as the definition of a company is broad under the PMLA. 

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