The CBI raided the home of Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia for about 15 hours on Friday in connection with the suspected corruption in implementing the Delhi Excise Policy.
Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raided 31 places on Friday, including the residence of Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, in connection with alleged corruption in implementing the Delhi Excise Policy.
The investigation agency raided Manish Sisodia’s home for nearly 15 hours and collected various documents, a data dump, and electronic devices.
On July 30, Sisodia, who also heads the Excise department in the national capital, announced the cancellation of the government’s new liquor restrictions under the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22, which currently allows only government-owned booze vendors to operate in the national capital. Despite a 27% increase in government revenue of Rs 8,900 crore as a result of the new excise regime for liquor sales, the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government reverted to the old regime amid an investigation launched by the Delhi Police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW) into alleged financial anomalies resulting from the new liquor policy.
Vinai Kumar Saxena, the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, recommended a CBI investigation into the new policy regime in July, directing Delhi’s Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar to submit a detailed report on the “role of officers and civil servants in its illegal formulation, amendments, and implementation.” In his report, Kumar stated that the decision to amend the liquor policy was made without the L-approval, G’s given ‘undue benefits’ to private booze dealers and requested a response from Sisodia on July 8.
WHAT is the 2021-22 Excise Policy?
The policy was developed in response to a report by an expert committee and went into effect on November 17, 2021. The new policy granted 849 liquor vends to private enterprises through open bidding. The city was divided into 32 zones, each of which could have up to 27 vends. Instead of bidding on individual licences, bidding was done on a zone-by-zone basis.
To make the trade more appealing, the government authorised licensees to set their own pricing, regardless of the MRP, and to offer limitless discounts to clients. Shops were allowed to stay open until 3 a.m., and other services such as home delivery to clients were permitted.
What did the report of the Delhi Chief Secretary say?
According to the report, Manish Sisodia made and carried out essential decisions/actions. “in violation of the statutory provisions and the notified Excise Policy that had huge financial implications.” The CBI’s investigation was recommended after the report’s findings were revealed.
Kumar pointed out various “procedural breaches.” According to the report given to the L-G and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on July 8, Kumar approved a relief of Rs 144.36 crore on the surrendered licence fee owing to COVID without the L-consent. G’s According to the allegation, an import pass cost of Rs 50 per beer case was also cancelled, resulting in substantial losses for the excise agency while enriching the licensees.