Last Updated: February 27, 2023, 09:58 IST
Sisodia, who also holds the finance portfolio, was summoned last Sunday but he sought deferment of his questioning citing the ongoing Budget exercise, following which, the CBI had asked him to appear on February 26 (Image: PTI)
Explained: Manish Sisodia was arrested after nearly eight hours of questioning on various aspects of the excise policy for 2021-22
The CBI Sunday arrested Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia in connection with alleged corruption in the now-scrapped excise policy relating to the sale of alcohol.
So What is the Delhi Liquor Scam? Explained in 5 Points:
- Sisodia was arrested after nearly eight hours of questioning on various aspects of the excise policy for 2021-22, which the probe agency says suffered from irregularities both in its formulation and implementation, allegedly intended to benefit people with links to the AAP. The CBI had found that profit margins of liquor wholesalers were increased from five per cent to 12 per cent in the new excise policy on the insistence of the ‘South Lobby‘, a coterie of politicians and liquor businessmen who allegedly swung the policy in their favour. It is alleged that a group of ministers was of the view to cap profit margins to five per cent which was also the crux of the draft policy, a report by PTI said. A report of the expert committee on excise policy was also completely changed by constituting a GoM in a “calculated manner” by “concealing” an earlier note for the council of ministers in support of the expert committee, PTI quoted sources as saying.
- Sisodia, who also holds the finance portfolio, was summoned last Sunday but he sought deferment of his questioning citing the ongoing Budget exercise, following which, the CBI had asked him to appear on February 26. This was the second round of questioning of Sisodia after the agency registered a case on August 17 last year. He was quizzed on October 17 last year. The leader, who also held the charge of the Excise department, was not mentioned as accused in the charge sheet filed in the case on November 25 last year. According to officials, the CBI had not named Sisodia in the charge sheet as the central probe agency kept the probe open against him and other suspects and accused.
- In the FIR, the CBI has booked him under IPC sections 120-B (punishment of criminal conspiracy) and 477A (falsification of accounts) and provisions of the Prevention Of Corruption Act including Section 7 (taking undue advantage to influence a public servant by corrupt or illegal means or by the exercise of personal influence). Along with Sisodia, the CBI had also named Arva Gopi Krishna, the then commissioner (excise); Anand Tiwari, the then deputy commissioner (excise); Pankaj Bhatnagar, assistant commissioner (excise); Vijay Nair, former CEO, Only Much Louder, an entertainment and event management company; Manoj Rai, ex-employee of Pernod Ricard; Amandeep Dhal, director, Brindco Sales Pvt. Ltd; Sameer Mahendru, managing director, Indospirit Group, as accused in the FIR.
- It is alleged that the Delhi government’s excise policy for 2021-22 to grant licences to liquor traders favoured certain dealers who had allegedly paid bribes for it, a charge strongly refuted by the AAP. The policy was later scrapped. “It was further alleged that irregularities were committed including modifications in Excise Policy, extending undue favours to the licensees, waiver/reduction in licence fee, the extension of L-1 license without approval etc. It was also alleged that illegal gains on the count of these acts were diverted to concerned public servants by private parties by making false entries in their books of accounts,” a CBI spokesperson had said.
- Recently, the CBI arrested Butchibabu Gorantla, a former chartered accountant of K Kavitha, a BRS MLC in Telangana and a daughter of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao. Babu had allegedly met several accused named in the FIR in Delhi, Hyderabad, and Mumbai and was one of the prime negotiators from the South Lobby, which wanted to swing policy in its favour. The CBI had also questioned Kavitha in December last year. During its probe, the CBI had found evidence that Babu acted on behalf of the South Lobby comprising the Telangana MLC, Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party MP Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy, and Aurobindo Pharma’s P Sarat Chandra Reddy.
With inputs from PTI
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