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CBI chargesheets Sisodia in Delhi liquor excise policy scam

Aam Admi Party leader Manish Sisodia.

The CBI on Tuesday filed a chargesheet against former deputy chief minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia and four others in the Delhi liquor excise policy scam under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

According to sources, the supplementary chargesheet has been filed under IPC sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 420 (Cheating) and other sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The supplementary chargesheet names former Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia, Amandeep Singh Dhall, Arjun Pandey and Butchi Babu Gorantla as accused in the Delhi excise policy scam that had for the first time ever thrown open the retail sale of liquor in the national capital to private players.

According to the CBI, Sisodia had played the most important role in the criminal conspiracy and he had been deeply involved in the formulation of the liquor excise policy.

The payment of advance kickbacks of around Rs 90-100 crores was meant for him and his other colleagues in the Delhi government and Rs 20-30 crores out of the amount was found to have been routed through the co-accused Vijay Nair, Abhishek Boinpally and approver Dinesh Arora between July and September 2021.

As a quid pro quo certain provisions of the excise policy were permitted to be tweaked and manipulated to protect and preserve the interests of South liquor lobby and to ensure repayment of the kickbacks to the said lobby.

Allegations have been made that Sisodia intervened personally to get Mahendru-owned Indo Spirit’s application processed after anomalies were initially flagged.

Former Excise Commissioner Arava Gopi Krishna’s name is also mentioned in the chargesheet as a suspect.

Of the four accused, Manish Sisodia and Amandeep Dhall are in judicial custody at present while Butchibabu was granted bail in the matter on March 6, 2023.