CBI summons Manish Sisodia for questioning in Delhi excise policy case

The CBI had earlier conducted searches at several locations in Delhi, including the official residence of Mr. Sisodia

October 16, 2022 12:48 pm | Updated 06:23 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. File.

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. File. | Photo Credit: PTI

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has summoned Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia for questioning on Monday in connection with the Delhi excise policy case.

Mr. Sisodia is one of the 15 accused named by the agency in its First Information Report (FIR) registered on August 17, alleging multiple irregularities in the formulation and implementation of the now-withdrawn excise policy.

Responding to the developments, he tweeted: "CBI raid was conducted at my house for 14 hours, nothing came out..searched my bank locker, nothing came out in it. They did not find anything in my village. Now they have called me to CBI Headquarters at 11 am tomorrow. I will go and give my full cooperation. Satyameva Jayate"

Also Read | Explained | The controversy around the Delhi excise policy

The CBI had earlier conducted searches at several locations in Delhi, including the official residence of Mr. Sisodia, Gurugram, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Lucknow and Bengaluru. 

Based on its findings, it arrested Vijay Nair, former chief executive officer of Mumbai-based Only Much Louder, who is also the Aam Aadmi Party communication in-charge. It also arrested liquor businessman, Abhishek Boinpally, an associate of co-accused, Arun Ramchandra Pillai.

On the basis of the CBI case, the ED is also conducting a money laundering probe and has searched about 130 locations in different States so far. It has arrested liquor businessman Sameer Mahendru, the managing director of Indospirit Group, who is one of the accused in the FIR and recorded statements of several witnesses.

It is alleged that he had transferred about ₹1 crore to the account of Radha Industries, which is managed by co-accused Dinesh Arora; and Mr. Pillai had received money from him for further transfer to a public servant via Mr. Nair.

Another accused, Arjun Pandey, had collected about ₹2 to 4 crore from Mr. Mahendru on behalf of Mr. Nair.

The FIR alleges that irregularities were committed while modifying the previous excise policy; undue favours were extended to licence holders; licence fee was waived or reduced; and L-1 licence was extended without the competent authority’s approval. The priavate beneficiaries diverted the “illegal” gains to the accused public servants and made false entries in their books of accounts to evade detection.

The Excise Department had allegedly decided to refund the Earnest Money Deposit of about ₹30 crore to a successful tenderer against the existing rules. Even though there was no enabling provision, waiver on tendered licence fee was allowed due to COVID-19 from December 28, 2021, to January 27, 2022. This allegedly caused a loss of ₹144.36 crore to the exchequer.

Following the CBI searches, Mr. Sisodia had said that the then Health Minister Satyendar Jain was earlier arrested and now he was being targeted to stop the good work being done in the areas of education and health in Delhi.

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