In a major development in the Delhi excise policy case, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been summoned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for questioning.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convenor has been summoned for questioning.
This development comes as former Delhi deputy CM Manish Sisodia continues to languish in judicial custody in the same case.
Sisodia was arrested by ED and CBI in the ongoing investigation of a case related to alleged irregularities in the framing and implementation of the excise policy of GNCTD.
The CBI arrested Sisodia in the liquor policy case on February 26, 2023. Later on March 9, the ED arrested him, after hours of questioning at Tihar Jail.
In October, the ED had raided nearly three dozen locations in Delhi and Punjab following the arrest of Sameer Mahendru, Managing Director of Delhi’s Jor Bagh-based liquor distributor Indospirit Group, in the case and arrested him later. The CBI too filed its first charge sheet in the case early this week.
The ED and the CBI had alleged that irregularities were committed while modifying the Excise Policy, undue favours were extended to licence holders, the licence fee was waived or reduced and the L-1 licence was extended without the competent authority’s approval. The beneficiaries diverted “illegal” gains to the accused officials and made false entries in their books of account to evade detection.
As per the allegations, the Excise Department had decided to refund the Earnest Money Deposit of about Rs 30 crore to a successful tenderer against the set rules. Even though there was no enabling provision, a waiver on tendered licence fees was allowed from December 28, 2021, to January 27, 2022, due to COVID-19.
This allegedly caused a loss of Rs 144.36 crore to the exchequer, which has been instituted on a reference from the Union Home Ministry following a recommendation from Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena.