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‘800 officers found nothing’: AAP’s Manish Sisodia not among 7 chargesheeted in Excise case

The Delhi Deputy CM’s home was raided by CBI during its ongoing investigation into the now-withdrawn excise policy; AAP calls the move an attempt to defame Sisodia.

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New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday filed its chargesheet against seven people accused in the alleged Delhi excise policy scam.

Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who was accused number 1 in the first information report (FIR) registered by the agency, was not among them.

Those chargesheeted include former Excise deputy commissioner Kuldeep Singh and former assistant commissioner Narender Singh.

The others are Vijay Nair, former CEO of Only Much Louder — an events company that has been associated with the ruling Aam Aadmi Party — Hyderabad-based businessman Abhishek Boinpally, Andhra Prabha newspaper managing director Mootha Gautam, managing director of Indospirit Group Sameer Mahendru and Arun R. Pillai, who runs a Hyderabad-based infrastructure company.

An FIR was registered on 17 August this year against Deputy CM Sisodia, three Excise department officials, vendors, and other unknown people in connection with the alleged irregularities in the policy, which included the grant of undue favours to licence holders, fee waivers, and extension of the L1 licence without approval.

The probe was kickstarted on the orders of the Ministry of Home Affairs — to look into the much-vaunted Excise Policy 2021-22 introduced by the AAP government. The policy has since been withdrawn.

A senior CBI officer said Friday that multiple searches in homes and offices of the accused have found “incriminating documents, articles and digital records”.

“Further investigation is on to ascertain the role of others named in the FIR,” the officer said.

The accused, according to the agency’s FIR, were instrumental in “recommending and taking decisions pertaining to excise policy for the year 2021-22 without the approval of the competent authority, with an intention to extend undue favours to the licensees post tender”.

Sisodia later told reporters that the CBI chargesheet has made it clear that he was “fallaciously defamed”. “The BJP made up a story about the liquor scam and raided my residence. They made a false report against the Delhi government through the Lieutenant Governor (LG). The LG must resign,” he said.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also said the case was nothing but a conspiracy to defame a man who “gave hope of a good future to crores of poor children of the country through the education revolution”.

The AAP national convener tweeted: “Manish’s name is not in the CBI chargesheet. The whole case is fake. Nothing was found in the raid. 800 officers found nothing in the investigation in 4 months… I am sorry that a conspiracy was hatched to defame such a person by implicating him in a false case.”

Also read: Attempts made to frame Sisodia in fake excise scam case: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal


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