Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia will be questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with alleged corruption in the formulation and implementation of Delhi excise policy.
“Going to CBI again today, will cooperate fully during the investigation. I don’t care if I have to stay in jail for a few months. I am a follower of Bhagat Singh,” Manish Sisodia tweeted in Hindi, ahead of his questioning.
The probe agency has prepared an exhaustive set of questions for Manish Sisodia who is likely to appear for questioning before investigators in connection with the Excise policy case probe on Sunday amid apprehensions of his arrest.
Sisodia, who also holds the Finance portfolio in the Delhi Cabinet, was originally 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.
Sisodia has expressed apprehensions that agencies might arrest him.
“They are using the CBI to take revenge and I am sure they will do that by getting me arrested,” he charged.
Armed with confessional statements of Sisodia’s “close associate” Dinesh Arora, and information gleaned from questioning of alleged members of ‘South Lobby’, a coterie of politicians and liquor businessmen who allegedly swung the policy in their favour, the CBI has prepared an elaborate questionnaire for him, the officials told PTI.
It is alleged the Delhi government’s policy to grant licences to liquor traders favoured certain dealers who had allegedly paid bribes for it, a charge strongly refuted by the AAP. “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.
What is Delhi liquor scam
Delhi liquor case is a corruption case in which the Delhi government’s excise department was allegedly involved in a scam worth crores of rupees.
The Kejriwal government withdrew Excise Policy 2021-22 last year after a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe was recommended by Delhi Lieutenant Governor (LG) VK Saxena into “violation of norms and lapses”.
The CBI had registered an FIR in a special court in August last year against Sisodia and 14 others under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 477A (falsification of records), and section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
It is alleged the Delhi government’s policy to grant licences to liquor traders favoured certain dealers who had allegedly paid bribes for it, a charge strongly refuted by the AAP.