News Brief

'Rs 45 Crore Bribe For AAP': Arvind Kejriwal Identified As 'Kingpin', 'Key Conspirator' In Liquor Policy Case By ED

Swarajya Staff

Jul 10, 2024, 08:16 PM | Updated Jul 11, 2024, 11:29 AM IST

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. (via Getty Images)
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. (via Getty Images)

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been identified as the "kingpin" and "key conspirator" in orchestrating the now-scrapped liquor excise policy, according to a chargesheet by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

The chargesheet claims that Kejriwal, along with other Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders, demanded kickbacks from liquor businessmen in exchange for favors as per a report by The Indian Express.

The central agency has also alleged that Kejriwal was knowingly involved in using the proceeds of crime generated from the excise policy to fund AAP's Goa election campaign in 2021-2022.

According to the ED, Rs 45 crore from the bribes collected from the “South Group” was used for this purpose.

The ED had previously stated that the excise policy was crafted to benefit the “South Group,” which allegedly secured undue favors, access to established wholesale businesses, and multiple retail zones, paying Rs 100 crore to AAP leaders in return.

The Rouse Avenue court in Delhi took cognisance of the chargesheet, which mentioned that bribes worth Rs 45 crore were handled by Chanpreet Singh, an AAP worker.

The ED claimed that Singh was involved in multiple transactions with the AAP through banking channels, as revealed by AAP Rajya Sabha MP and national treasurer ND Gupta.

The prosecution also accused Kejriwal of "arm-twisting wholesalers" who refused to pay kickbacks. Businesses of certain wholesalers who did not comply were allegedly targeted in Punjab.

The agency claimed that Vijay Nair, former communications in charge of AAP and a close associate of Kejriwal, played a role in coercing these wholesalers.

The ED relied on statements from co-accused and approvers, including TDP MP Magunta S Reddy and his son Raghav Magunta, who alleged that BRS legislator K Kavitha demanded Rs 50 crore from them for AAP.

Hyderabad-based businessman P Sarath Reddy also testified about a brief meeting with Kejriwal, during which Kejriwal assured him to trust Vijay Nair.

Kejriwal was arrested by the ED on 21 March in the money laundering case and granted interim bail until 1 June for poll campaigning. On 26 June, Kejriwal was formally arrested by the CBI in a corruption case linked to the excise policy and is currently in judicial custody for both cases.

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