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ED conducts raids across multiple states in Delhi excise policy case

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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is conducting raids in connection with the Delhi excise policy case in Delhi and multiple cities in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab Haryana, Telangana, and Maharashtra, sources told agencies

Earlier too, enforcement agencies had conducted searches on Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia’s official residence besides at several places in connection with the alleged corruption in the implementation of Delhi’s excise policy.

The Aam Aadmi Party had been maintaining that the allegations of corruption labelled against them were politically motivated. What exactly is the controversy around Delhi’s Excise policy? A report on July 8 by Delhi’s Chief Secretary established prima facie violations of GNCTD Act 1991, Transaction of Business Rules (ToBR) 1993, Delhi Excise Act 2009 and Delhi Excise Rules 2010.

 The Chief Secretary’s report indicated substantively of financial quid pro quo at the top political level and that the Delhi Excise Policy was implemented with the sole aim of benefitting private liquor barons for financial benefits to individuals at the highest rungs of the government leading up to Manish Sisodia. Sisodia, who is in charge of the excise department, is under the scanner for alleged deliberate and gross procedural lapses which provided undue benefits to the tender process for liquor licensees for the year 2021-22.

 Sisodia is believed to have executed decisions in violation of the statutory provisions of the Excise Policy, which could have huge financial implications. Such “undue financial favours” to the liquor licensees after the deadline for awarding tenders caused huge losses to the exchequer, sources earlier claimed. Delhi Lieutenant Governor recommends CBI probe Taking into account the Chief Secretary’s report, Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena had recommended a CBI investigation into the matter.The LG office said that Sisodia also extended financial favours to the liquor licensees much after the tenders had been awarded and thus caused huge losses to the exchequer. 

The excise policy was passed in chief minister Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi Cabinet in the middle of the deadly Delta Covid-19 pandemic in 2021.

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