ED running fake news of attaching Rs 52 cr-worth assets of Sisodia: CM

New Delhi: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday accused the BJP-led Centre of defaming AAP leader Manish Sisodia by running “fake news” of the Enforcement Directorate attaching assets worth Rs 52 crore belonging to the jailed leader in the Delhi excise policy case.

He said the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has, in fact, attached properties worth Rs 80 lakh of Sisodia and his wife.

The ED on Friday said it has attached two immovable assets of Sisodia and his wife apart from bank deposits worth Rs 11.49 lakh of the ex-deputy chief minister in the Delhi excise policy-linked money laundering case.

Taking to Twitter, Kejriwal said in Hindi, “Prime Minister, when you did not find anything against Manish Sisodia, you started defaming him through ED. Your ED is running fake news on TV channels saying that Rs 52 crore worth assets of Manish Sisodia have been attached.”

Kejriwal, who is also the AAP national convener, clarified that in reality, Rs 80 lakh worth of assets have been attached. These properties belong to pre-2018 period when the excise policy was not even framed.

He also said that these assets have already been declared.

“People would not have thought that a day would come that the prime minister of a great country like India would try to eliminate his political rivals by lying openly. Who is the actual corrupt, you also know. If you have guts, you should catch them,” he said.

AAP leader Atishi said the total value of the immovable assets belonging to Sisodia was about Rs 81 lakh and that included Rs 11.49 lakh of bank deposits and two flats — one in Vasundhara in Ghaziabad and second in Delhi’s Mayur Vihar.

She said as part of the July 3 provisional order issued by the ED while one flat of Sisodia was purchased about 18 years ago (in 2005) and is valued at Rs 5 lakh, the second was bought about five years ago (in 2018) and valued at Rs 65 lakh.

The probe agency has issued a provisional order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) to attach assets worth Rs 52.24 crore of the Sisodia couple and some other accused being probed in this case.

Two immovable properties of Manish Sisodia and his wife Seema Sisodia and a land/flat of arrested accused Rajesh Joshi — the director of Chariot Productions Media Pvt Ltd — have been attached, the ED said. It also attached a land/flat of Gautam Malhotra, a Punjab-based liquor businessman and son of former SAD MLA Deep Malhotra.

Gautam Malhotra was arrested by the ED in the case earlier.

Movable assets worth Rs 44.29 crore were also attached as part of the same order. These included Manish Sisodia’’s bank balances worth Rs 11.49 lakh apart from Rs 16.45 crore worth of deposits of a company Brindco Sales Pvt. Ltd. and others, the agency said in a statement.

Brindco Sales Pvt. Ltd. is a company of liquor businessman Amandeep Singh Dhall who was also arrested in this case by the ED.

Sisodia, 51, was arrested by the agency in this case in March and is currently in judicial custody.

This is the second attachment in this case after the ED a few months ago attached properties worth Rs 76.54 crore of other accused such as Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) communications in-charge Vijay Nair, liquor businessman and promoter of Indospirits company Sameer Mahandru, promoter of liquor company Buddy Retail Pvt Ltd. Amit Arora, Hyderabad-based businessman Arun Pillai and others.

The ED had said in its chargesheet filed before a local court a few months ago that the Delhi excise policy 2021-22 was brought in by the AAP leadership, specifically by Manish Sisodia, to “continuously generate and channel illegal funds” to themselves.

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