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Delhi CM and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal will hold a press conference today at 12 noon.

The press conference comes amid CBI raid at Deputy CM Manish Sisodia's residence is underway.

The CBI carried out searches at the residences of Minister Manish Sisodia and IAS officer Arava Gopi Krishna besides at 19 other locations after registering an FIR in connection with the Delhi excise policy case, officials said.

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia put out a tweet in Hindi, "CBI has come. He is welcome. We are extremely honest. Making the future of millions of children," when loosely translated. Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia said that he will co-operate, truth will come out.

A CBI inquiry was recommended by the LG into the alleged violation of rules and procedural lapses in the implementation of the Excise Policy 2021-22.

Hours after the CBI conducted raids at Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia's residence in the national capital on Friday morning, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal confidently welcomed the federal agency and assured complete cooperation with the inspection and proceedings.

In a series of tweets, Kejriwal said that the federal agencies had conducted search operations at Delhi ministers' residences earlier also and nothing came out of it, hence, they will not find anything this time too.

What exactly is the controversy around the Delhi's Excise policy?

A report on July 8 by Delhi's Chief Secretary established prima facie violations of GNCTD Act 1991, Transaction of Business Rules (ToBR) 1993, Delhi Excise Act 2009 and Delhi Excise Rules 2010.

The Chief Secretary's report indicated substantively of financial quid pro quo at the top political level and that the Delhi Excise Policy was implemented with the sole aim of benefitting private liquor barons for financial benefits to individuals at the highest rungs of the government leading up to Manish Sisodia.

Sisodia, who is in charge of the excise department, is under the scanner for alleged deliberate and gross procedural lapses which provided undue benefits to the tender process for liquor licensees for the year 2021-22.

Sisodia is believed to have executed decisions in violation of the statutory provisions of the Excise Policy, which could have huge financial implications. Such "undue financial favours" to the liquor licensees after the deadline for awarding tenders caused huge losses to the exchequer, sources earlier claimed.

Delhi Lieutenant Governor recommends CBI probe:

Taking into account the Chief Secretary's report, Delhi's Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena had recommended a CBI investigation into the matter.

The LG office said that Sisodia also extended financial favours to the liquor licensees much after the tenders had been awarded and thus caused huge losses to the exchequer.

The excise policy was passed in chief minister Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi Cabinet in the middle of the deadly Delta Covid-19 pandemic in 2021.

However, the Delhi government's version is that the policy was formulated to ensure the generation of optimum revenue, and eradicate the sale of spurious liquor or non-duty paid liquor in Delhi, besides improving user experience.

Following LG's recommendation, the office of the Assistant Commissioner of Delhi Police's Economic Offence Wing (EOW)issued a notice to Delhi's Excise Commissioner asking him to provide all documents relating to the award of liquor licenses under the new excise policy.

Assistant Commissioner of Police, EOW had sought the date of floating of tenders for grant of liquor license under the new policy, date of grant of a license, and application forms of all successful applicants.

The procedures that were followed to check monopolies and cartels of successful applicants granted liquor license was also sought.

"Whether any SOP was prepared to check monopolies and cartels of successful applicants granted liquor license under New Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22. If yes, please provide the relevant SOP," it had asked.

Further, it sought whether the Delhi Excise Department has issued any show cause notice for cancellation of the license granted to any applicant or cancelled license under the new excise policy.

 

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