Mon, 29 May 2023

New Delhi [India], September 19 (ANI): The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday summoned senior Aam Adami Party (AAP) leader and Rajinder Nagar MLA Durgesh Pathak in the Delhi excise policy case.

Taking to Twitter, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia said, "What does our MCD incharge has to do with Delhi govt's liquor policy? Is their target liquor policy or MCD elections?"Notably, Pathak is the party's in-charge of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) polls.

Notably, the central agencies are probing the Delhi excise policy case on the recommendation of Governor VK Saxena, following which the CBI raided Manish Sisodia's house earlier in August.

Saxena had claimed 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.

Sisodia was among 15 others booked in an FIR filed by the CBI. Excise officials, liquor company executives, dealers, some unknown public servants and private persons have been booked in the case.

It was alleged that irregularities were committed including modifications in the excise policy and undue favours were extended to the license holders including waiver or reduction in licence fee, an extension of L-1 license without approval etc.

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

However, the Delhi government's version is that the policy was formulated to ensure the generation of optimum revenue, and eradicate the sale of spurious liquor or non-duty paid liquor in Delhi, besides improving user experience. 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 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.

In the latest development in the case, ED on Friday conducted raids at Robin Distilleries.

Earlier on September 6, raids were conducted in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Telangana, and Maharashtra. (ANI)

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