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CBI raids Delhi Deputy CM Sisodia’s residence in liquor policy case

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia

The CBI on Friday conducted raids against Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia over allegations linked to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government's controversial excise policy under which licenses for the sale of liquor in the national capital were given to private players. 

Besides Manish Sisodia's home in Delhi, the CBI carried out searches in 20 locations across seven states. Former Delhi Excise Commissioner A Gopikrishna's home in Daman and Diu was also searched, officials said.

The CBI has registered an FIR in connection with alleged irregularities in the formulation and execution of the Delhi Excise Policy that was rolled out in November last year under which liquor shop licenses were given o private players.

The FIR named four public servants including Sisodia as accused.

"CBI is here at my residence. I will cooperate with the probe agency, they will not find anything against me," Manish Sisodia tweeted.

Delhi Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena had recommended a CBI probe into the Excise Policy after the Delhi Chief Secretary filed a report in July alleging violation of rules and "deliberate and gross procedural lapses".

The Lieutenant Governor had last month alleged that the AAP government's excise policy was implemented "with the sole aim" of benefitting private liquor barons for financial benefits to "individuals at the highest echelons of the government leading up to Manish Sisodia".

"Minister In-charge of the Excise Department, Manish Sisodia took and got executed, major decisions/actions in violation of the statutory provisions and the notified Excise Policy that had huge financial implications," Mr Saxena had said.

On July 30, Mr Sisodia announced a withdrawal of the policy that had handed over licenses for selling liquor to private traders and shut down government outlets.