CBI raided Manish Sisodia's home today over the Delhi liquor policy
Manish Sisodia, Delhi's Deputy Chief Minister, is number one on a list of 15 accused in the CBI's FIR on liquor policy violations, a copy of which has been accessed by NDTV.
The offences listed in the 11-page document are corruption, criminal conspiracy and falsification of accounts.
Mr Sisodia, who is Excise Minister, has strongly denied any wrongdoing. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the chief of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), has also firmly backed his deputy.
Three officers are named in the FIR - former Excise Commissioner A Gopi Krishna, Deputy Commissioner Anand Tiwari and Assistant Commissioner Pankaj Bhatnagar.
The CBI alleges that liquor companies and middlemen were "actively involved in irregularities in the framing and implementation" of the excise policy.
The agency also claims "close associates of Mr Sisodia - Amit Arora, Dinesh Arora and Arjun Pandey - collected "commission" from liquor licensees and delivered them to "the accused public servants".
The FIR alleges that a liquor trader paid Rs 1 crore to a company managed by Dinesh Arora. The same trader, Sameer Mahendru of Indospirits, gave Rs 2-4 crores to Arjun Pandey, another associate.
The CBI states that Mr Sisodia introduced the new policy on who would be allowed to sell alcohol in Delhi without the permission of the Lieutenant Governor, who is the centre's representative in Delhi. The new policy was introduced in November and withdrawn on July 30, after an investigation was announced.
The FIR is based on a reference from Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena, who had recommended a CBI investigation into the liquor policy.
The CBI launched raids this morning on Mr Sisodia, who is AAP's number two leader after Arvind Kejriwal.
AAP says Mr Sisodia is being targeted because the Centre was furious over the front-page shout-out to him in the New York Times on Thursday.
The party alleges that the BJP is using probe agencies to hound AAP as it is worried about Mr Kejriwal emerging as the main challenger to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2024 election.