Senior AAP leader and Delhi’s cabinet minister, Shri Saurabh Bharadwaj, stated that after the dismissal of Shri Manish Sisodia’s bail plea on October 30, there has been extensive discussion and scrutiny of the case. He mentioned that during the previous hearings at the Supreme Court regarding this matter, he distinctly remembers that one of the judges of the Supreme Court posed various questions to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on this matter. Shri Saurabh Bharadwaj narrated that the Judge asked the ED whether there was any information regarding the money involved in the alleged bribery, where the money was reached, and what evidence the ED possessed for these allegations.
He further asserted that ED had no answers to these questions posed by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court, in its attempt to gather all the evidence and information, had given the ED an entire month from August 5 to September 5 to provide answers. Even during this one month, the ED could not produce any facts or evidence that could substantiate the allegations they made. Not only that, but the Supreme Court had also given the ED several more opportunities to present evidence related to the money transaction involved in the bribery case.
Shri Saurabh Bharadwaj stated that there are two main charges leveled by the ED. The first allegation claims that two individuals named Amit Aroda and Dinesh Aroda gave Manish Sisodia an amount of ₹2.20 crores. When you read the Supreme Court’s order, you will be astonished to know that the Supreme Court asked the ED, whether there is any mention of this in the CBI charge sheet, and whether the ED possesses any evidence regarding these allegations. The Supreme Court noted that there is no mention of these allegations in the CBI charge sheet, and the ED lacks sufficient evidence to substantiate these claims. The ED has stated that the South Group provided the AAP with ₹100 crores in exchange for changing a policy. The court has responded to this allegation by stating that the evidence provided by the ED is insufficient to substantiate these allegations. When the central government’s lawyers informed the court that they would complete the trial of this case within 6-8 months, the court did not accept this and ordered that if Shri Manish Sisodia feels that the trial is progressing slowly, he can approach the court within 3 months.
Stating on ill intention of the BJP-led Central Government, Shri Saurabh Bharadwaj mentioned, “The entire matter is purely and solely a politically motivated conspiracy. On October 29, BJP’s MP Manoj Tiwari made a statement where he mentioned that the ED would summon Delhi’s CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal and arrest him. How did Manoj Tiwari come to know about the ED sending a summons even before it was issued? This statement by Manoj Tiwari makes it clear that this entire matter is sponsored by the central government. Everyone knows there are elections in 5 states in the country, and the AAP is contesting in these states. Shri Arvind Kejriwal is not only popular in Delhi but also nationally renowned for his honesty. It is for this reason that the central government, under the guise of a conspiracy, sent an ED to summon him so that he could not campaign for the AAP in those states. Therefore, the BJP conspired to hamper his campaign by using this politically motivated plot.”
Shri Saurabh Bharadwaj, while raising questions about the summons sent to CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal by the ED, explained through the media that certain important aspects surrounding this matter are unclear.
The summons sent by the ED does not make it clear whether CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal was called as a witness or as a suspect by the ED. It is also unclear in the ED’s summons whether Shri Arvind Kejriwal is being called for questioning in his capacity as the CM of Delhi or as the AAP’s National Convenor. These ambiguities in the ED’s summons have led to questions and concerns regarding the purpose and intent behind summoning CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal for an inquiry.
Shri Saurabh Bharadwaj stated, “Shri Arvind Kejriwal is a national party leader. Elections are currently underway in 5 states, and he is scheduled to campaign for the AAP in these elections. The BJP is concerned about the possibility of losing these elections, they do not want Shri Arvind Kejriwal to campaign in these 5 states. The law has never granted any agency the right to summon an individual without proper grounds for questioning and subsequently arresting them if they fail to respond. This principle has been part of democratic countries’ legal systems, not just in modern India but even during the British colonial era, where law enforcement agencies were required to obtain the court’s permission for searches in someone’s home. There is no such law, rule, or regulation associated with the ED, and the central government is openly misusing its powers. This misuse is not limited to the AAP but extends to all opposition parties.