The Enforcement Directorate (ED) began questioning Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and former Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia inside the Tihar jail in connection with the money laundering probe into alleged irregularities in the Delhi government’s now-scrapped liquor policy.
At the same time, the Central Bureau of Investigation is questioning Sisodia’s personal assistant Devendra Sharma at its headquarters.
The Delhi Liquor Policy scam came to fore seven months ago in July 2022 when Delhi Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar submitted a report to the Lieutenant-Governor’s Office, alleging procedural lapses in the implementation of the policy and claiming that post-tender benefits were extended to the licensees. L-G Vinai Kumar Saxena wrote the same month to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs recommending a CBI inquiry.
The CBI filed an FIR in the case in August 2022, and two days later, raided 21 locations in Delhi, including Sisodia’s house.
The ED also lodged an FIR on the basis of CBI FIR. Sisodia is among 15 booked in the CBI FIR – the others being three excise department officials and several vendors and distributors.
The CBI FIR states: “Manish Sisodia, Deputy CM; Arava Gopi Krishna, then Commissioner (Excise); Anand Tiwari, then Deputy Commissioner (Excise); and Pankaj Bhatnagar, Assistant Commissioner (Excise) were instrumental in recommending and taking decisions pertaining to excise policy for the year 2021-22 without the approval of competent authority with an intention to extend undue favours to the licensee post tender.”
The ED filed a supplementary chargesheet over alleged irregularities in the Delhi excise policy case and claimed that the policy was created by top leaders of the AAP to continuously generate and channel illegal funds to themselves.