What is Delhi Liqour Scam and Its Progress

what is delhi liquor case

Delhi Desk, Delhi Magazine: Aam Aadmi Party’s troubles in Delhi’s new liquor policy scam (Delhi Excise Policy Corruption Case) are not showing any signs of stopping. First Manish Sisodia and now Sanjay Singh, one after the other the leaders are coming on the radar of the investigating agency. The ED team reached the house of AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh early today (Wednesday) for questioning and searching. ED officials interrogated him for a long time. Now in such a situation you might be wondering what is this liquor policy?

What is the new liquor policy scam case?

While being the head of Delhi’s Excise Department, Manish Sisodia had announced the new excise policy in March 2021. He had said that under the new policy the government will have no role in the sale of liquor. Only private shops will be allowed to sell liquor. For this, shops will be opened in a minimum area of 500 square feet and no counter of the shop will be on the road.

The goods of liquor shops will be sold in Delhi, with the new policy he expected an increase in revenue of Rs 1500-2000 crore. In the new policy it was said that the total number of liquor shops in Delhi will remain 850 as before. Under Delhi’s new liquor sale policy, home delivery of liquor and shops have been allowed to remain open till 3 am. Licensees can also give unlimited discounts on liquor. After this, the new liquor policy was implemented in November 2021.

However, this policy of Delhi government soon ran into trouble. The Economic Offenses Wing of Delhi Police and Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena expressed suspicion of foul play in the case. Based on the Delhi Chief Secretary’s report in July 2022 accusing Manish Sisodia of bending rules and providing undue benefits to liquor licensees, the Governor ordered a CBI inquiry.

1. New liquor policy came into effect on November 2021

Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia announced the new liquor policy on 22 March 2021. He said that with this policy the liquor shops will go into private hands. When Sisodia was asked the purpose of bringing the new policy, he gave two arguments. First- Mafia rule will end. Second- Government treasury will increase.

The new liquor policy 2021-22 was implemented on 17 November 2021. Due to this, the government came out of the liquor business and this business went into private hands. There was huge sale of liquor due to many big discounts. This increased the government treasury, but there was opposition to this new policy.

2. Allegation of scam in liquor policy in July 2022

On July 8, 2022, Delhi Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar alleged that there was a scam in the new liquor policy. He submitted a report related to this to LG VK Saxena. It was told that Sisodia gave undue benefits to licensed liquor traders. On the other hand, LG has also said that changes were made in the liquor policy without his and the cabinet’s approval.

3. CBI and ED registered a case on August 2022

LG Saxena demanded a CBI inquiry based on the Chief Secretary’s report. The investigating agency registered the case on 17 August 2022. In this, Manish Sisodia, three retired government officers, 9 businessmen and two companies were made accused. A case was registered against everyone under sections related to corruption.

On August 19, raids were conducted at 31 locations in seven states including Sisodia’s home and office. On this Sisodia claimed that CBI did not find anything. Here, on August 22, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) took information about the case from CBI and registered a case of money laundering.

4. July 2022 Government canceled the new policy

Seeing the increasing controversy, on July 28, 2022, the Delhi government canceled the new liquor policy. It was decided to implement the old policy again. On July 31, the government said in a cabinet note that despite high sales of liquor, the government’s earnings decreased because retail and wholesale traders were withdrawing from the liquor business.

5. CBI arrested Sisodia on February 2023

Sisodia was in charge of the Excise Department, hence he was allegedly made the main accused in this scam. After several interrogations, the investigating agency arrested him on 26 February. At present he is in jail. CBI accused Sisodia that being the Excise Minister, he took arbitrary and unilateral decisions, which caused huge loss to the exchequer and benefited liquor traders.

According to sources, Delhi’s Deputy CM has been arrested on charges of destroying evidence. He is accused of destroying several phones. The Enforcement Directorate i.e. ED had claimed in the Delhi court in December 2022 that Sisodia and other accused changed mobile phones 170 times and then broke them. This caused a loss of Rs 1.38 crore. Evidence was destroyed on a large scale in the excise scam.

Delhi Magazine Team

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