Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena on Saturday suspended 11 officials over serious lapses in the implementation of the Excise Policy 2021-22. The move comes after an inquiry report filed by the Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar and Directorate of Vigilance (DoV).
On July 08, 2022, the Chief Secretary had submitted a report to both the L-G and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal alleging corruption and violation of ToBR Rule 57.
According to the report, the inquiry found proof of irregularities that were provided to the DoV by the finance and the excise departments. The report also brings out the misinterpretation, violation of norms and procedures etc.
The LG has also initiated disciplinary proceedings against three ad-hoc DANICS officers and six officials of the Delhi government’s excise department.
The disciplinary proceedings have also been initiated against IAS officer Arava Gopi Krishna IAS) and Anand Tiwari. While Krishna was former Excise Commissioner, Tiwari was the deputy commissioner to Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.
The report further alleged undue benefits on the directions of Excise Minister Manish Sisodia.
The LG had already recommended a CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) probe into the alleged violation of norms and procedural lapses in the implementation of the Excise Policy 2021-22, under which private firms were allowed for retail sale of liquor in the city divided into 32 zones.
Sisodia is also under the lens of the central probe agency. Meanwhile, the AAP minister accused former L-G Anil Baijal and said that Baijal had brought a last-minute change in the excise policy which caused loss of “thousands of crores of rupees” to the city government.
Speaking to reporters in the national capital, the Deputy CM added that he has sent all relevant details to the CBI and expressed hope that the agency will conduct a thorough probe.
The new excise policy was implemented on November 17, 2021. However, now the govt has withdrawn the policy and will run the liquor vends under the old excise regime through its undertakings from September 01, 2022.