The CBI arrived at Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s home this morning for searches linked to allegations of irregularities in the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government’s new liquor policy.
The agency, which has filed an FIR on the liquor policy, raided more than 20 locations in and near Delhi.
“CBI is here at my residence. I will cooperate with the probe agency, they will not find anything against me,” Manish Sisodia tweeted.
The CBI also carried out searches on former Excise Commissioner Arava Gopi Krishna, an IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officer.
The allegations are linked to the Excise Policy that was recently withdrawn by the AAP government amid a huge controversy and a row with Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena, who had called for the CBI probe into alleged violation of rules and procedural lapses.
The Excise Policy launched in November handed over the sale of liquor to private players and shut down all government-run liquor outlets.
Manish Sisodia oversees the Excise department. The CBI is investigating three allegations:
- The new policy caused a huge loss to the public exchequer.
- Ineligible players were awarded retail outlets
- That AAP allegedly benefited through kickbacks and “commissions”
Last month, the Lieutenant Governor had recommended a CBI probe into the policy and had asked for a report on the role of officers and civil servants in the “illegal formulation, amendments and implementation” of the policy.
On July 30, Mr Sisodia announced a rollback and said only government outlets would sell liquor in Delhi from August 1.
There were “deliberate and gross procedural lapses” to provide “undue benefits to liquor licensees”, according to CBI officials.