New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday searched premises of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s personal assistant Bibhav Kumar and some persons connected to the Aam Aadmi Party as part of a money laundering probe linked to alleged irregularities in the DJB, official sources said.
About 10-12 premises in the national capital are being covered as part of the raids being undertaken under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The locations of Bibhav Kumar, former Delhi Jal Board member Shalabh Kumar, office of party Rajya Sabha MP and national treasurer N D Gupta apart from some others are being covered by the officials of the central agency.
The raids pertain to a probe linked to alleged irregularities in the tendering process of the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) in which the ED arrested retired chief engineer Jagdish Kumar Arora and contractor Anil Kumar Aggarwal last week.
A special PMLA court on Monday extended their remand by five more days after the ED claimed that their further custodial interrogation was required to unearth the “larger conspiracy”.
The ED raids came on a day when Delhi cabinet minister Atishi had promised to do an “explosive expose” on the agency.
She claimed in a press conference that the ED ‘deleted’ audio recording of witness statements in certain cases, including the excise policy probe, being investigated against AAP functionaries. The minister challenged the agency to produce them in front of the court and the country.
Atishi charged that the latest raids on AAP leaders were being carried out to “scare” the party.
She said searches were being carried out at the residence of Gupta and his personal assistant apart from the PA of CM Kejriwal.
The ED is probing two separate matters of irregularities in the tendering process of the DJB and its criminal case stems from an FIR of the CBI and from the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) of the Delhi government.
The CBI FIR alleged that officials of the DJB gave “undue advantage” to NKG Infrastructure Limited while awarding tender to the company for supply, installation, testing and commissioning of electro-magnetic flow metres in connivance with officials of the NBCC (lndia) Limited.
The second allegation pertains to the ACB complaint of November, 2022 where it was stated that the DJB awarded a tender for setting up automotive bill payment collection machines (kiosks) in its different offices for facilitating consumers in bill payment.