The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has claimed that a liquor trader paid 1 crore to a company managed by an associate of Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia in its FIR on alleged corruption in the formulation and implementation of the excise policy 2021-22.
The agency named 15 people in its FIR filed on August 17 under IPC sections related to criminal conspiracy and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act. On Friday, the agency conducted raids at Mr. Sisodia’s official residence in central Delhi and 20 other locations in seven states and Union territories.
Along with Mr. Sisodia, who also holds the excise portfolio, the CBI has accused former excise commissioner Arava Gopi Krishna, former deputy excise commissioner Anand Kumar Tiwari, assistant excise commissioner Pankaj Bhatnagar, nine businessmen, and two companies.
The FIR was filed based on information provided by the Union Home Ministry and routed through the office of Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena.
In order to “extend undue favours to the licencees post tender,” the agency claims that Mr. Sisodia and other accused public servants recommended and made decisions regarding the excise policy 2021–22 without the consent of the appropriate authority.
It claimed that Amandeep Dhal, owner of Brindco Spirits, Vijay Nair, former CEO of entertainment and event management company Only Much Louder, Manoj Rai, a former Pernod Ricard employee, and Sameer Mahendru, owner of Indospirits, were directly involved in irregularities in the formulation and application of the excise policy introduced in November of last year.
According to the agency, Sisodia’s “close associates” Amit Arora, Dinesh Arora, and Arjun Pandey were “actively involved in managing and diverting the undue pecuniary advantage collected from liquor licensees” for the accused public servants.
According to the CBI, Sameer Mahendru of Indospirits gave Radha Industries, managed by Dinesh Arora, one crore rupees.
“According to additional information from the source, Arun Ramchandra Pillai used to obtain unfair financial advantages from Sameer Mahendru to pass on to the accused public employees through Vijay Nair. Arjun Pandey once procured for Vijay Nair a sizable cash sum from Sameer Mahendru in the range of 2-4 crore “It read.
Sunny Marwah’s Mahadev Liquors allegedly received an L-1 licence under the policy, according to the agency. Additionally, it was claimed that Marwah had regular business dealings with the charged public officials and paid bribes to them while serving on the board of businesses owned by the late liquor baron Ponty Chadha.