The Central Bureau of Investigation on Friday (August 19 ) raided 21 locations, including the residence of Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, in connection with alleged irregularities in the Delhi Excise (liquor) Policy. The raids are conducted on the same day The New York Times published a front-page report in its international edition on the AAP government’s “overhaul of public schools in the capital of India”.
The allegation is that the new policy caused a huge loss of public money and ineligible players were awarded retail outlets. It is also alleged that theAam Admi Partybenefited through “commissions”.
The CBI raid against Sisodia, who also holds the excise portfolio, comes just over two months after Enforcement Directorate arrested Delhi Minister Satyender in a case of alleged money laundering case. He is in judicial custody.
Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Vinai Kumar Saxena, had last week recommended a CBI probe into the policy and directed Delhi’s Chief Secretary to submit a report detailing the “role of officers and civil servants in its illegal formulation, amendments and implementation.”
LIQUOR POLICY RAID; SISODIA
In his first reaction to the raid, Sisodia in a tweet said “We welcome CBI. Will give full cooperation in the investigation so that the truth can come out soon. Till now, many cases have been filed against me, but nothing has come out. Nothing will come out of it either. My work for good education in the country cannot be stopped.”
“It is very unfortunate that those who do good work in our country are harassed like this. That is why our country has not yet become No 1,” his tweet said.
He also made a veiled reference to the Narendra Modi government in another tweet: “These people are troubled because of the excellent work done by the Delhi government in the health and education sectors, and that is why ministers of both departments are targeted.”
LIQUOR POLICY RAID; KEJRIWAL
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the action is “welcome” and we will cooperate fully, but added that nothing will come out. In his tweet, Kejriwal said “a day when the Delhi education model was praised and Manish Sisodia’s picture printed on the front page of America’s largest newspaper NYT (New York Times)”.
“There have been many investigations and raids in the past as well. Nothing came out. This time, too, nothing will come out,” he wrote, in Hindi, sharing a tweet by Manish Sisodia in which he said AAP leaders are “kattar imaandar” (staunchly honest).
LIQUOR POLICY RAID; AAM ADMI PARTY
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) alleged that the BJP at the Centre is targeting its leaders. It has been at odds with successive Lt Governors, appointed by the Centre.
LIQUOR POLICY RAID; THE CONTROVERSY
The controversy is with respect to the Delhi Liquor policy. The allegation is that the new policy caused a huge loss of public money and ineligible players were awarded retail outlets. It is also alleged that the Aam Admi Party benefited through “commissions”. Though Sisodia, who also holds the excise portfolio, announced on July 30, that Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22, which was the government’s ambitious project, would be scrapped. He declared that only government owned liquor vendors would be allowed to sell alcohol in the national capital from August 1.
The Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22 proposed home delivery of liquor, opening of shops till 3 am and allowing licensees to offer unlimited discounts. The Cabinet on May 2 proposed this policy. Before its implementation, the policy had to first be examined by the Chief Secretary of Delhi, Naresh Kumar. In the proposed policy, Kumar found “procedural lapses” and irregularities. He sent a report to Sisodia and asked for a reply. The report was also sent to Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and LG Vinai Kumar Saxena.
The Chief secretary also informed the Delhi Police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW) about alleged illegalities and monopolies taking place in the liquor trade. He asked them to investigate the matter. The EOW collected digital video recordings of excise department meetings, including the one that reportedly went on till 5 am on the night of July 11-12. They issued a notice to the assistant commissioner of the Delhi Excise Department and sought details about the alleged illegal distribution of liquor licences to companies that had violated the terms and conditions of New Excise Policy 2021-22. It also sought documents and details such as the date that the New Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22 was formulated, and when the tenders for the grant of liquor licences under the new policy were floated.
LIQUOR POLICT RAID
The CBI on August 21 issued look out circular (LOC) against all the accused, including Manish Sisodia. Lashing out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Look Out Circular, Sisodia said that after the 2024 general election the people would give a “Look Out Circular” to the BJP. He said that it was unfortunate that the PM keeps thinking against whom should a CBI ‘Look Out Circular’ be issued today.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is reported to file a money laundering case against Manish Sisodia in connection with the alleged corruption over the implementation of the Delhi liquour policy. This comes after the CBI shared a copy of the FIR against Sisodia and other relevant documents pertaining to the case with the ED.