Manish Sisodia arrest: Fresh findings by CBI in Delhi excise policy ‘scam’

  • The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had said that Sisodia was giving evasive replies and not cooperating in the investigation

Livemint
First Published27 Feb 2023
Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia during a roadshow from his Mathura Road residence to Raj Ghat en route the CBI office for his questioning in the liquor policy case on Sunday.
Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia during a roadshow from his Mathura Road residence to Raj Ghat en route the CBI office for his questioning in the liquor policy case on Sunday.(HT)

Delhi deputy Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party leader Manish Sisodia was arrested on Sunday 26 February, after eight hours of questioning by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in relation to the Delhi Excise Policy (2021-22).

The Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government's new excise policy is at the heart of the controversy wherein Sisodia has named in a chargesheet filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Fresh charges by CBI against Manish Sisodia

-The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had said that Sisodia was giving evasive replies and not cooperating in the investigation.

-The probe agency also said that Sisodia was earlier called on 19 February for investigation, but he sought time for seven days.

-The Delhi Deputy CM is one of the primary accused in the CBI FIR filed for the Delhi excise policy ‘scam’.

-The now withdrawn Delhi government' s Delhi Excise Policy (2021-22) sought to grant licences to liquor traders. The CBI alleges that the policy was created with "an intention to extend undue favours to the licensees post tender".

-According to the FIR, at least two payments in crores were allegedly made to "close associates" of Sisodia by Sameer Mahendru, the owner of Indospirit, one of the liquor traders involved in irregularities in the framing and implementation of the excise policy.

-According to a report by the Delhi chief secretary, Sisodia undertook major decisions and actions that were 'in violation of the statutory provisions and the notified excise policy that had huge financial implications'. Following this report, a CBI probe was recommended.

-The CBI registered cases alleging that irregularities were committed while modifying the Excise Policy.

-The charges include granting undue favours to license holders, waiver or reduction of license fee and extension of L-1 license without the competent authority's approval.

-The probe agency alleged that beneficiaries diverted "illegal" gains to the accused officials and made false entries in their books of account to evade detection.

-Sisodia is also being investigated for his alleged ‘close’ links with Dinesh Arora, an accused in the Delhi Liquor Policy scam.

It is to be noted that CBI has not named Sisodia in the charge sheet as the central probe agency kept the probe open against him and other suspects and accused.

Manish Sisodia CBI arrest- What do we know so far?

Sisodia was arrested by CBI on Sunday after eight-hour-long questioning in an ongoing investigation of a case related to alleged irregularities in the framing and implementation of the now-scrapped excise policy of GNCTD.

The CBI had raided Sisodia's house in August last year, following which the probe agency listed 15 accused, including the Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, in its FIR on alleged excise scam.

Sisodia holds multiple portfolios in the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government including that of excise and education.

Delhi Excise Policy controversy

The Delhi Excise Policy was scrapped by the Delhi government in July. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia announced on 30 July, that the Delhi government's ambitious new liquor policy (Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22) will be scrapped entirely and that from 1 August, only government owned liquor vendors will be allowed to sell alcohol in the national capital.

The scheme came under the scanner after Delhi Lt Governor V K Saxena last month recommended a CBI probe into alleged irregularities in the implementation of the Excise Policy 2021-22.

He also suspended 11 excise officials in the matter. Sisodia too demanded a CBI probe into the alleged irregularities in the policy.

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