Skip to main content
xYOU DESERVE INDEPENDENT, CRITICAL MEDIA. We want readers like you. Support independent critical media.

Delhi: Sisodia Among 15 Named by CBI in FIR on Excise Policy Case; Kejriwal Hits Out at Centre

Orders from ‘above’ to harass us (AAP leaders), no need to panic, says Delhi CM
manish sisodia

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.Image Courtesy:Twitter/@msisodia

New Delhi: A liquor trader paid Rs 1 crore to a company managed by an associate of Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, the CBI has claimed in its FIR on alleged corruption in the framing and implementation of the excise policy 2021-22.

The agency, which carried out raids at Sisodia's official residence in Central Delhi and 20 other locations in seven states and Union territories on Friday, named 15 people in its FIR registered on August 17 under IPC sections related to criminal conspiracy and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the CBI raids on Manish Sisodia, "the best education minister of independent India" are on the orders "from above to harass us" and are just obstacles in their 'Make India Number 1' mission but they will not be deterred.

In addition to Sisodia, who also holds the excise portfolio, the Central Bureau of Investigation has named as accused then excise commissioner Arava Gopi Krishna, then deputy excise commissioner Anand Kumar Tiwari, assistant excise commissioner Pankaj Bhatnagar, nine businessmen and two companies.

The FIR was registered on a reference from the office of Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena routed through the Union Home Ministry.

The agency has alleged that Sisodia and other accused public servants recommended and took decisions pertaining to the excise policy 2021-22 without the approval of competent authority with "an intention to extend undue favours to the licencees post tender".

It said Vijay Nair, former CEO of Only Much Louder, an entertainment and event management company, Manoj Rai, former employee of Pernod Ricard, Amandeep Dhal, owner of Brindco Spirits, and Sameer Mahendru, owner of Indospirits, were actively involved in irregularities in the framing and implementation of the excise policy brought in November last year.

The agency has alleged Amit Arora, Director of Buddy Retail Pvt. Limited in Gurgaon, Dinesh Arora and Arjun Pandey are "close associates" of Sisodia and were "actively involved in managing and diverting the undue pecuniary advantage collected from liquor licensees" for the accused public servants.

The CBI has alleged that Radha Industries managed by Dinesh Arora received Rs 1 crore from Sameer Mahendru of Indospirits.

"Source further revealed that Arun Ramchandra Pillai used to collect undue pecuniary advantage from Sameer Mahendru for onward transmission to the accused public servants through Vijay Nair. A person named Arjun Pandey has once collected a huge cash amount of about Rs 2-4 crore from Sameer Mahendru on behalf of Vijay Nair," it said.

The agency alleged that Sunny Marwah's Mahadev Liquors was granted L-1 licence under the policy. It also alleged that Marwah, who was on the board of firms of the deceased liquor baron Ponty Chadha, was in close contact with the accused public servants and regularly paid bribes to them.

Delhi model on front page of biggest newspaper of US: Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said the CBI raids on Manish Sisodia, "the best education minister of independent India" are on the orders "from above to harass us" and are just obstacles in their 'Make India Number 1' mission but they will not be deterred.

Taking to Twitter, Kejriwal attached the front page of the New York Times featuring Sisodia along with a news story "Our Children are worth it; overhaul of public schools in Delhi has students clamouring to enroll", and said the CBI raids come on a day the biggest newspaper in America published an article praising the Delhi education model.

He alleged that the central agency has orders "from above to harass" the Aam Aadmi Party leaders and that there is no need to panic, but asserted that the universe was with them.

"Delhi has made India proud. The Delhi model is on the front page of the biggest newspaper of the US. Manish Sisodia is the best education minister of independent India," Kejriwal tweeted.

Later addressing an online press conference, he said,"It is a matter of pride for the country that Manish Sisodia's name is on the front page of the biggest newspaper of the most powerful country in the world.

"In a way, he has been declared the best education minister in the world. The biggest newspaper wrote about Delhi's education revolution and carried Sisodia's photograph also."

He claimed that the last time India's name was featured in NYT was over mass deaths happening in the country due to COVID-19.

Asserting that they are not scared and there were raids against his other ministers Kailash Gahlot and Satyendar Jain too, but nothing came out of them, Kejriwal on Friday said obstacles will come, but the good work won't stop.

"Many obstacles will be created in our path in our mission. This is not the first raid on Sisodia; there were raids in the past too. There have been raids also on many of our ministers and me too, but nothing came out of them and nothing will come out this time as well," he said.

"There is no need to panic since there will be obstacles to stop our work. The CBI has been asked from above to harass us," Kejriwal said.

The chief minister on Wednesday announced his national mission to 'Make India Number 1" in the world, pursuing free education and healthcare, fair price to farmers for their produce, employment for youth and respect and equality for women.

"We announced the mission to 'Make India Number One Country' in the world on Wednesday. People must join this mission by giving a missed call on 9510001000. We cannot leave the country to political parties. We have to come together," he stressed.

Calling the NYT article divine intervention, he said the powers of the universe are with them.

"Day before yesterday, we announced our mission to make number one country in the world and yesterday, the NYT article was published. The realisation of the dream has started -- it will take time and effort but we will do it," he said.

Get the latest reports & analysis with people's perspective on Protests, movements & deep analytical videos, discussions of the current affairs in your Telegram app. Subscribe to NewsClick's Telegram channel & get Real-Time updates on stories, as they get published on our website.

Subscribe Newsclick On Telegram