Delhi LG Suggests CBI Probe Into Kejriwal Govt's Excise Policy

The report indicates “substantial” financial favours at the top political level, the Lieutenant Governor said, naming Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal

The Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Vinai Kumar Saxena on Friday recommended that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probes into the contentious new excise policy of the Arvind Kejriwal-led government in the national capital.

A report from the Chief Secretary dated July 8 had established several violations of the established law “in addition to deliberate and gross procedural lapses to provide post tender undue benefits to liquor licensees,” a release from the Lieutenant Governor’s office said.

The report indicates “substantial” financial favours at the top political level, the Lieutenant Governor said, naming Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.

Saxena’s office said, “Minister In-charge of the Excise Department, Manish Sisodia took and got executed, major decisions/actions in violation of the statutory provisions and the notified Excise Policy that had huge financial implications.”

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He also accused Sisodia of extending undue favours to liquor licensees after the tenders had been awarded causing massive losses to the ex-chequer.

The new Excise policy 2021-22 had been implemented from November 17 last year under which retail licenses were given to private bidders for 849 vends across the national capital divided into 32 zones.

Many liquor stores did not open as they were located in non-confirming areas of the city and several such vends were sealed by the municipal corporation.

Both Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress had strongly opposed the policy and lodged complaints with the Lieutenant Governor as well as central agencies for an investigation into it.

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