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Delhi excise policy case: Hearing commences at Rouse Avenue Court
New Delhi: The hearing in the Delhi liquor policy case commenced at the Rouse Avenue Court on Friday, in which Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia is one of the accused.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) submitted fresh findings on the matter. Earlier in the day, the former Delhi Deputy CM was brought to the Rouse Avenue Court for the hearing.
The former Deputy Delhi CM Sisodia is currently under ED custody in connection with the case pertaining to the Delhi excise policy. He was arrested by Enforcement Directorate (ED) during his judicial custody in Tihar Jail, where he was lodged.
Sisodia was arrested by the CBI in the liquor policy case on February 26 and sent to 14-day judicial custody on March 6. He was arrested in connection with the alleged irregularities in the framing and implementation of the excise policy of the National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD).
Delhi's Rouse Avenue court sent him to judicial custody till March 20.
The ED also made another arrest in the case earlier, as it took Hyderabad-based businessman Arun Ramchandra Pillai into its custody.
The probe agency has also questioned Bharatiya Rashtriya Samiti (BRS) MLC and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao's daughter, K Kavitha in the liquor policy case.
The excise policy was passed by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi Cabinet in the middle of the deadly Delta Covid-19 pandemic in 2021.
The Delhi government's version is that the policy was formulated to ensure the generation of optimum revenue, eradicate the sale of spurious liquor or non-duty paid liquor in Delhi, besides improving user experience.
The CBI had filed a case against alleged corruption in the 2021-22 excise policy. The excise policy was subsequently withdrawn by the AAP government.
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 were 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.
As per the allegations, the Excise Department had decided to refund the Earnest Money Deposit of about Rs 30 crore to a successful tenderer against the set rules. Even though there was no enabling provision, a waiver on tendered licence fees was allowed from December 28, 2021, to January 27, 2022, due to COVID-19.
This allegedly caused a loss of Rs 144.36 crore to the exchequer, which has been instituted on a reference from the Union Home Ministry following a recommendation from Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena. (ANI)