The Delhi's Deputy Chief Minister and Excise Minister, Manish Sisodia, was arrested by the CBI on Sunday (26 February) after he was questioned for eight hours.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) accused Sisodia of not co-operating with the investigation and being evasive in his replies.
He was booked under IPC sections 120-B (punishment of criminal conspiracy) and 477A (falsification of accounts) and provisions of the Prevention Of Corruption Act, including Section 7 (taking undue advantage to influence a public servant by corrupt or illegal means or by the exercise of personal influence).
The charges against Sisodia include promoting the formation of cartels through back-door deals, granting excessive profit margins, destroying evidence and other illegal activities as part of a criminal and political conspiracy led by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders.
Here is a list of charges against Sisodia that led to his arrest:
According to reports, Sisodia was questioned about various aspects of Excise policy, alleged link with Dinesh Arora, and message exchanges from multiple phones.
He was arrested as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged irregularities in the formulation and implementation of the excise policy.
The CBI said that Sisodia provided evasive answers and failed to co-operate with the investigation.
The AAP government's policy granted unwarranted advantages to license holders, such as waiving or reducing license fees, and extending L-1 licenses without the necessary approval of competent authorities. These "benefits" were reportedly given to private players in exchange for kickbacks.
The beneficiaries of these favors are said to have diverted "illegal" profits to the accused officials and made false entries in the account books.
Sisodia is accused of waiving Rs 143.46 crore to the liquor lobby and refunding license fees to defaulters, causing a loss of revenue to the exchequer.
According to the investigation agency, Sisodia destroyed evidence during the investigation and used multiple phones during the period of the alleged scam. He allegedly destroyed digital evidence worth Rs 1.38 crore.
In August 2021, Delhi Lt Governor V K Saxena recommended CBI investigation into alleged irregularities in Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22.
This led to the Delhi government withdrawing the policy entirely and destroying evidence.
(with inputs from PTI)
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.