A Delhi court today sent Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Sanjay Singh to the custody of the Enforcement Directorate for five days, a day after he was arrested in a money laundering case related to the now-scrapped liquor policy.
A businessman had given Rs 3 crore to Mr Singh and this sum was part of the money trail in Delhi liquor policy case, the ED told the court.
The ED’s submission was based on the statements of Delhi businessman Dinesh Arora, an accused in the liquor policy case who has now turned an approver.
The ED told the court that it has seized digital evidence from the AAP MP’s premises and would confront him. It alleged that the money was delivered by Sarvesh, an employee of Arora. “There is a direct link to proceeds of crime,” the ED counsel told the court.
Sanjay Singh’s counsel said Arora is an accused who has turned an approver. “Dinesh Arora was arrested by the same ED. Now he has turned approver,” he said, adding that Mr Singh has never been summoned in the case earlier.
“ED is saying they have conducted 239 searches. Is the ED saying that they are going to confront Sanjay Singh with the evidence collected from 239 searches?” his counsel asked.
Responding to why Mr Singh has been arrested now, the ED said Arora’s statement about giving Rs 2 crore to the AAP leader was recorded in August.
On the accused-turned-approver charge of the AAP leader’s counsel, the ED said, “Dinesh Arora is an approver based on a judicial order of this court. The argument that the statement of Dinesh Arora against Sanjay Singh taken due to inducement is pure imagination.”
At this point, the Rajya Sabha MP said that all the allegations against him are “lies”. “Dinesh Arora and Amit Arora were in the custody of the agencies for all these days, now they have taken my name. I am saying with folded hands, if there is any truth in any of this evidence, give me the maximum punishment. But this is a case of vendetta,” he said. The ED objected to this, saying the court is “not a political forum”.
Mr Singh was arrested yesterday following day-long searches at his residence. He is the second senior AAP leader to be arrested in connection with the alleged irregularities in the liquor policy case, after Delhi’s former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. Mr Sisodia, who was arrested in February, is fighting for bail in Supreme Court, which today fielded tough questions to the ED.
The AAP has said Mr Singh’s arrest was a result of the BJP’s “frustration” with the Opposition parties coming together under the INDIA bloc ahead of the 2024 general election.
“They are rattled by INDIA alliance since its formation. They feel that if this alliance is successful, and it will be, they will lose badly. Sanjay Singh’s arrest is a fallout of that frustration. More leaders will be arrested,” AAP leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said after Mr Singh’s arrest. “They have investigated so much, but did not find anything. Everyone’s time is being wasted, be it the probe agency or the nation. Nothing will be achieved by framing us in false cases,” Mr Kejriwal said today.
The BJP has alleged that the AAP has engaged in “open corruption” and is resorting to politics now that it has been allegations of wrongdoing.
“AAP MP Sanjay Singh has been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a liquor scam case. It is in AAP’s nature to engage in corruption openly, and when they are caught, they start playing politics,” the BJP’s Sambit Patra told the media.