Delhi liquor Policy Row: The CBI has registered a First Information Report or FIR in the case
Manish Sisodia, Delhi's Deputy Chief Minister who also handles the Excise department, was raided by the CBI today over allegations of corruption in the liquor policy. The Aam Aadmi Party government has denied the allegations.
Here are the top 10 updates on Delhi liquor policy row:
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The CBI carried out searches at Manish Sisodia's home in Delhi and 31 other locations across seven states. The mandatory sanction for registering a corruption case was given by Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena.
Sources said during the 14-hour raid, the agency officials seized confidential official files relating to the new excise policy from the home of a public servant. The location of the seizure is yet to be revealed. No cash recovery has been made so far. The searches are expected to continue.
In its FIR, the CBI claimed that a liquor trader has paid Rs 1 crore to a company managed by an associate of Mr Sisodia. He is Number One in the list of 15 people named in the FIR, filed on Wednesday.
Lieutenant Governor Saxena had recommended a CBI probe last month after a report from the Delhi Chief Secretary alleging irregularities in Delhi's new liquor policy. Under the policy launched in November, liquor shop licenses were handed over to private players. The CBI has filed a First Information Report and is investigating the matter.
Mr Sisodia said the policy was meant to tackle corruption in government liquor outlets. The Centre, he said, was troubled by the "excellent work done by the Delhi government in the health and education sector" and that is why ministers of both departments were targeted. Health minister Satyendar Jain has been in jail since May.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the CBI landed at Mr Sisodia's doorstep "the day the Delhi education model was praised" and Mr Sisodia's picture landed on the front page of New York Times. "There have been raids in the past too, but nothing came out, and nothing will come out this time," he said.
BJP minister Anurag Thakur said the fear of a CBI probe had compelled Mr Kejriwal and Mr Sisodia to link the CBI raids to their work in the education sector. "The corruption in excise policy has revealed the true face of Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia," Mr Thakur said.
"The flip side to relentless misuse of agencies against political rivals is that even legitimate, rightful actions of agencies come under a cloud of suspicion," tweeted Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera.
The Lieutenant Governor has accused the AAP government of bringing the Excise policy "with the sole aim" of benefiting private liquor barons. "Individuals at the highest echelons of the government leading up to Manish Sisodia" were involved, he had alleged.
After a probe was started initially by the Delhi Police's Economic Offences Wing, Mr Sisodia announced a rollback of the policy. To Centre's allegation that AAP was trying to introduce a liquor culture in Delhi, he cited Gujarat, a dry state where 43 people died recently after drinking spurious bootlegged liquor.