On Tuesday, 6 January, the Enforcement Directorate raided premises linked to Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s personal secretary Bibhav Kumar, AAP Rajya Sabha MP N.D. Gupta and others connected to the Aam Aadmi Party.
The ED has searched 10 locations linked to Bibhav Kumar as part of its money laundering probe in the Delhi Jal Board case. The agency is probing the issuance of ‘illegal’ Delhi Jal Board contracts for various projects valued at over Rs 30 crore.
However, AAP has claimed that the raids were a reaction to an expose against the agency scheduled by senior AAP leader and Delhi’s Education Minister Atishi.
News agency PTI quoted AAP leader and Delhi’s Education Minister Atishi as saying, “Yesterday, I had said that I will be doing an ‘explosive exposé’ on ED at 10 am today. To stop this exposé and scare the AAP, ED has been conducting raids since 7 am in the morning against AAP leaders and workers. Raids are underway at the residences of our leader ND Gupta and the PA of CM Arvind Kejriwal. There are reports that the ED will conduct raids throughout the day against AAP leaders. The BJP-led central government is trying to scare the AAP using the probe agencies.”
She claimed, while addressing a press conference that the ED officials have been trying to ‘scare’ and ‘threaten’ the party leaders but AAP is not going to be scared of anyone. Atishi alleged that ED officials has been threatening and blackmailing the witnesses so that they give their statements against the party and its officials.
Atishi said, “In the name of this so-called scam, someone’s house is raided, someone gets summons and someone is arrested…Even after hundreds of raids in two years, ED has not been able to recover even a single rupee. Even after two years, ED has not found any concrete evidence and the court has also repeatedly asked that evidence should be presented…” she said.
She further said that ED cases against leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party rest solely on statements and now, it has come to light that there is fraud in the testimony.
“To hide this fraud, ED is now deleting the audio recording of the CCTV footage,” Atishi alleged. “How many statements have the ED taken, how many have been recorded in CCTV, and how many of them have audio?” she asked further.
Meanwhile, notably, AAP has demanded that ED should place the audio recording of all the interrogations of the last 1.5 years in front of the country and the court.
Multiple ED summons have been sent to Delhi and AAP supreme Arvind Kejriwal after the arrest of Sanjay Singh, Satyendra Jain and former Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia.
The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) is a domestic law enforcement agency and economic intelligence agency responsible for enforcing economic laws and fighting economic crimes in India. It is part of the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government Of India.
The Enforcement Directorate focuses on investigating and prosecuting cases related to money laundering, foreign exchange violations, corruption and economic offences. Its primary objective is to curb the generation and circulation of black money and to ensure compliance with the laws concerning foreign exchange and prevention of money laundering.
However, targets of the enforcement directorate have claimed that they misuse powers against activists, scholars, and political rivals.