CBI summons Kejriwal on Sunday in Excise policy case

  • | Friday | 14th April, 2023

In a major development in the alleged Delhi excise policy scam case, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has summoned Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for questioning in the case on April 16 at the Central probe agency’s headquarters here at 11 am, informed sources said on Friday. The summons has been issued to the Kejriwal even as former Delhi deputy CM Manish Sisodia continues to languish in judicial custody in the same case. Confirming the report, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MP Sanjay Singh said, “A notice has been served by CBI. On 16th April, Arvind Kejriwal will appear before them.” Squarely blaming the BJP for the CBI move, the AAP MP said, “The Centre wants to put AAP under pressure after it has become a national party. Under this, Arvind Kejriwal has been summoned by CBI. He will appear for questioning on April 16.” “Arvind Kejriwal has been sent a CBI summon. I’d like to tell the PM you and your government are covered in corruption from head to toe and Arvind Kejriwal’s fight will not stop with this CBI summons. The conspiracy hatched by you to arrest, jail and take action against Arvind Kejriwal on 16th April will not stifle his voice,” he said. Sisodia was arrested by the ED and the CBI in an ongoing investigation into a case related to alleged irregularities in the framing and implementation of the excise policy of GNCTD. While the CBI arrested Sisodia in the liquor policy case on February 26, 2023, the ED arrested him later on March 9 after hours of questioning him at Tihar Jail. In October, the ED had raided nearly three dozen locations in Delhi and Punjab following the arrest of Sameer Mahendru, Managing Director of Delhi’s Jor Bagh-based liquor distributor Indospirit Group, in the case and arrested him later. The CBI too filed its first charge sheet in the case early this week. The ED and the CBI had alleged that irregularities were committed while modifying the Excise Policy, undue favours were extended to licence holders, the licence fee was waived or reduced and the L-1 licence was extended without the competent authority’s approval. The beneficiaries diverted “illegal” gains to the accused officials and made false entries in their books of account to evade detection. As per the allegations, the Excise Department had decided to refund the Earnest Money Deposit of about Rs 30 crore to a successful tenderer against the set rules. Even though there was no enabling provision, a waiver on tendered licence fees was allowed from December 28, 2021, to January 27, 2022, due to COVID-19. This allegedly caused a loss of Rs 144.36 crore to the exchequer, which has been instituted on a reference from the Union Home Ministry following a recommendation from Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena. AAP leader and former Delhi minister Satyendar Jain is also currently lodged in judicial custody in connection with an alleged money laundering case registered against him by the ED. Jain was arrested by the ED on May 30 last year in an alleged money laundering case.

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