Delhi

Delhi L-G asks Chief Secretary to report ‘corrupt’ govt. officials in ‘faulty’ excise policy

New Lt. Governor of Delhi Vinai Kumar Saxena in New Delhi. File

New Lt. Governor of Delhi Vinai Kumar Saxena in New Delhi. File | Photo Credit: PTI

A day after recommending a CBI probe into the revamped Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22, L-G V.K. Saxena on Saturday directed the Chief Secretary to submit a detailed report on the role played by officials and civil servants in the “illegal formulation, amendments and implementation” of the policy.

The report, on the basis of which Mr. Saxena recommended the inquiry, cited “blatant decisions” that proved “mal-intent, malpractice and corruption prevalent at the highest level” in relation to the policy, sources said.

AAP retaliates

Senior AAP leader and MLA Atishi attacked the BJP for the misuse of investigation agencies. 

“AAP has got used to facing fake cases. At least 151 fake cases have been filed against our leaders. Whoever wants to conduct an investigation is most welcome. They won’t find an iota of corruption. The new excise policy has generated a profit of ₹1,300 crore to the exchequer in just four months,” the AAP leader said. 

Ms. Atishi said that the Central government has blazed all its guns by putting all investigation agencies behind them, but till date no evidence has been found.

AAP MP Sanjay Singh said, “The Prime Minister wrote off debt of ₹11 lakh crore owed by his few billionaire friends. A handful of billionaires committed bank fraud of ₹2.4 lakh crore but the ED and the CBI turned blind eye to it.” 

Appropriate action

Both serving and former government officials — whether currently posted in the Capital or somewhere else — across multiple government departments, sources told The Hindu, were likely to face “appropriate action” against them.

With the CBI simultaneously conducting its probe in the matter, criminal cases against erring officials are “more than likely” to be registered if found linked to “significant” financial transactions.

The role of officials, posted not only at various levels in the Excise Department but also the Finance Department, would especially be under the scanner, sources said

“It was the duty of the officials to highlight, flag and bring to the notice of the Chief Secretary any irregularities taking place under their watch,” a source said.

“However, with the records available so far, it is evident that not only did a few officials ignore and facilitate decisions that were in complete violation of procedure, but also acted as proactive conduits in formulating and implementing illegal orders, solely at the behest of Minister in-charge, Manish Sisodia,” the source added.

Procedural lapses

According to the source, procedural lapses were in regard to the GNCTD, Act, 1991, the Transaction of Business Rules, 1993, the Delhi Excise Act, 2009, and the Delhi Excise Rules, 2010.

“Appropriate action as per law will be taken against such officers once the report is submitted and examined. The aim should be to achieve and establish total and bipartisan probity, transparency and corruption-free administration, the L-G has underlined,” the source said.

BJP, Cong. protest

Meanwhile, the BJP staged a protest outside Mr. Sisodia’s residence over the issue alleging that the AAP government had indulged in corruption worth ₹5,000 crore in the name of the new excise policy.

“The new excise policy is just an excuse to benefit the liquor mafia; their commission was raised from 2.5% to 12.5%. Even the number of dry days has been reduced from 21 to just three so as to benefit the liquor mafia and get more kickbacks from them,” Mr. Gupta said.

Leader of the Opposition Ramvir Singh Bidhuri alleged that by allowing liquor contractors to test the quality of alcohol in their own laboratories, sale of duplicate liquor has become a possibility.

“Both [Arvind] Kejriwal and Sisodia have looted people in the name of excise policy and Delhiites will definitely take an account of it from them. The BJP will keep protesting till Sisodia is arrested,” Mr. Bidhuri said.

The Delhi Congress also staged a protest outside the AAP office, demanding Mr. Sisodia’s resignation and accusing the party of being “knee-deep in corruption.”


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Printable version | Sep 16, 2022 9:13:14 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/delhi-excise-policy-lg-takes-note-of-lapses-seeks-report-from-chief-secretary/article65674785.ece