Scam scent takes CBI to Sisodia’s house

31 locations raided; FIR names 15, including Dy CM, liquor barons & babus who framed, and implemented excise policy.
CBI Raids at Sisodia's residence. (Photo | Shekhar Yadav, EPS)
CBI Raids at Sisodia's residence. (Photo | Shekhar Yadav, EPS)

NEW DELHI: In the toughest action so far against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP government, the CBI on Friday searched the bungalow of Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia besides raiding 30 other locations across India in connection with alleged irregularities in the National Capital Territory’s 2021-22 excise policy.

The CBI action, which comes in the wake of this newspaper’s expose of the alleged irregularities in the AAP government’s excise policy that sought to benefit a select few alcohol merchants, drew the net over 15 people, including Accused No. 1 Sisodia, naming them in an FIR registered on the basis of a complaint filed by the Union home ministry.

The complaint got teeth from a July 20 order of Lt Governor VK Saxena, which said Sisodia, ex-Excise Commissioner Arva Gopi Krishna, Deputy Commissioner (Excise) and Assistant Commissioner (Excise) Pankaj Bhatnagar were instrumental in taking decisions related to the 2021-22 excise policy without approval from the competent authority (the LG) and with the intention of extending undue favours to the licensees post tender.

Based on an inquiry ordered by Saxena, the Delhi Chief Secretary submitted a report on July 8, 2022. The report said after the May 24 approval to the 2021-22 excise policy, “various major decisions and actions have been taken and executed by the Department with the approval of Minister-in-Charge in violation of the statutory provisions and the Notified Excise Policy, which have financial implications and are in the nature of extending undue favour to the licensee post tender”.

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