Thursday, September 29, 2022

ED has not registered case against Manish Sisodia in excise policy row, clarifies top agency official

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The top official of the Enforcement Directorate denied on Tuesday that the agency had filed a money laundering case against Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, after an Additional Director in the probe agency said that a case had been filed over the Delhi Excise Policy, which is being investigated by the CBI.

The explanation came shortly after Additional Director Enforcement Directorate Sonia Narang confirmed to ANI on record that Manish Sisodia had been charged with money laundering. The CBI has filed a complaint against him for suspected corruption in the excise policy for 2021-22. The AAP administration subsequently repealed the excise policy.

The CBI conducted searches at Sisodia’s official house and raids at numerous other locations last week in connection with the suspected corruption in the administration of Delhi’s Excise Policy.

Searches were carried out in seven states and one union territory, including at the home of former Delhi Excise Commissioner Arava Gopi Krishna.

Sisodia is one of 15 people charged in the CBI’s FIR. Excise authorities, liquor industry executives, dealers, and unknown state personnel and private individuals have all been charged in the case.

The FIR said that “facts in the matter prima facie disclose the commission of offences” punishable under section 120-B, 477A IPC and section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988″ against the accused.

Among those searched were the offices of then-Excise Commissioner Arava Gopi Krishna and Anand Tiwari.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) issued a Look Out Circular (LOC) on Sunday against eight suspects – all private individuals – in connection with the CBI probe for suspected excise policy anomalies.

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It was claimed that irregularities were committed, such as changes to the Excise Policy and undue favours were granted to licence holders, such as a waiver or decrease in licence price, an extension of L-1 licence without permission, and so on.

It was further claimed that unlawful earnings from these crimes were channelled to concerned public personnel by private parties, who then made fraudulent entries in their books of accounts.

The raids sparked a political brawl, with BJP officials including Union Minister Anurag Thakur accusing Kejriwal and Sisodia of “liquor corruption.” The claims, according to the AAP, are politically driven.

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