Massive crackdown in Delhi excise policy case, ED raids underway at 30 locations in Delhi, five states | The Financial Express

Massive crackdown in Delhi excise policy case, ED raids underway at 30 locations in Delhi, five states

The Enforcement Directorate is conducting raids at multiple locations in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Telangana, Karnataka and Maharashtra in connection with the Delhi excise policy case.

Massive crackdown in Delhi excise policy case, ED raids underway at 30 locations in Delhi, five states
Raids are currently underway at the premises linked to Amit Arora, director of Buddy Retail Pvt Limited, in Gurugram, Haryana, and businessman Sameer Mahandru in Jor Bagh, Delhi. (Photo source: ANI)

The Enforcement Directorate today conducted raids at multiple locations as part of its investigation into the Delhi excise policy case. ED raids were underway in the national capital besides several cities in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Telangana, Karnataka and Maharashtra, news agencies reported. The locations being searched do not include those linked to Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia or any other bureaucrat from Delhi, agency officials confirmed.

The ED raids come as part of the agency’s probe into a money laundering case linked to alleged irregularities in the Delhi Excise Policy, PTI cited officials as saying. The ED, in its probe, will assess if individuals and companies involved in the policy-making of this scheme and related entities generated any “proceeds of crime under the definition of PMLA” and if there was any possible creation of illegal or benami assets, the PTI report added, citing sources.

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Among individuals whose premises are being raided are Amit Arora, director of Buddy Retail Pvt Limited, in Gurugram, Haryana, and businessman Sameer Mahandru in Jor Bagh, Delhi, reported ANI.

The development comes on the back of a case registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation in the matter. Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia is among those who have been named as accused in the “scam” in the central probe agency’s chargesheet. It has been alleged that undue financial favours were extended to liquor licensees after the tenders were awarded, causing a loss to the exchequer.

According to officials, the excise department, under Sisodia, granted a waiver of Rs 144.36 crore to the licensees on the tendered licence fee on the pretext of COVID-19. It has been further alleged that the earnest money of Rs 30 crore was also refunded to the lowest bidder for the licence of the airport zone when it failed to obtain a no-objection certificate (NOC) from airport authorities. 

On August 19, the CBI conducted searches at 21 locations in Delhi-NCR and Punjab, including Sisodia’s residence in connection with its probe. The Delhi L-G had recommended a CBI probe based on the findings of the Delhi chief secretary’s report filed in July this year showing prima facie violations of the GNCTD Act 1991, Transaction of Business Rules (ToBR)-1993, Delhi Excise Act-2009 and Delhi Excise Rules-2010, officials said.

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On Monday, the CBI rejected Sisodia’s claims that he had been given a clean chit in the case. Terming Sisodia’s statement as “misleading and mischievous”, the central agency said that its investigation into the case was still underway and no accused had been given a clean chit.

“The mischievous AND misleading statement of Manish Sisodia is an attempt to divert attention from the ongoing probe in the case,” the agency said on Monday.   

A day earlier, the BJP released videos to claim that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy CM Manish Sisodia had taken “commissions” to benefit private players under the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22. 

Addressing a press conference on Monday, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra claimed the Sisodia received “commissions to the tune of hundreds of crores” in exchange for liquor licences to private parties in Delhi.

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