Manish Sisodia Named For 1st Time In CBI Chargesheet In Liquor Policy Case

New Delhi:

Manish Sisodia, former Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, has been named as an accused in a chargesheet filed in the Delhi liquor policy case. The supplementary chargesheet filed today also names Butchi Babu, the former auditor of Bharat Rashtra Samithi leader K Kavitha, Arjun Pandey and Amandeep Dhal.

Sources said the agency has kept further investigation open on the role of other accused in the case.  

Last week, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was questioned as a witness in the case for nearly nine hours by the CBI. BRS leader Ms Kavitha, who is also the daughter of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, has also been questioned in the case.

Calling the liquor policy case “fabricated”, Mr Kejriwal said after the questioning that the Centre was targeting AAP as it has become a national party. “They are doing all this to defame us and our good, development work,” he told reporters.

Mr Sisodia has also denied wrongdoing and has told a court in his bail application that the Central agency has no evidence against him.

The Aam Aadmi Party leader was arrested on February 26 — more than six months after a First Information Report was registered in the case after the issue was flagged by Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena.

Altogether 10 people were arrested in the case and all are out on bail except Mr Sisodia.

AAP has said the arrest of Mr Sisodia is an “attack on the Delhi model of governance”.

“You (the BJP) didn’t get anything from his house or bank accounts. They haven’t been able to prove any allegation against him,” the party had said at a press conference, questioning the absence of a money trail.

Mr Sisodia and others face corruption allegations linked to the Delhi government’s liquor policy of 2021 that was later scrapped.

The CBI contends that liquor companies were involved in framing of the policy, which would have led to a 12 per cent profit for liquor firms. The agency alleged that a liquor lobby it dubbed the “South Group” had paid kickbacks for it. Of the proposed 12 per cent profit, six per cent was routed to public servants through middlemen, the agency claimed.

The Enforcement Directorate has also launched an investigation, alleging laundering of the kickbacks. After the policy was scrapped, the BJP said the Delhi government went back to the old liquor policy to cover up the corruption.

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