Seven states, 21 locations, 15 hours: All you need to know about CBI raids against Manish Sisodia

Several documents and electronic gadgets, including mobile and laptop of Manish Sisodia, has been seized by the CBI. Sisodia’s private car has also been searched apart from his residence in Delhi.

Seven states, 21 locations, 15 hours: All you need to know about CBI raids against Manish Sisodia
Manish Sisodia under CBI scanner. (File)

As the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) raid at the residence of Manish Sisodia entered its tenth hour, the agency is believed to have seized documents and electronic gadgets from the Delhi Deputy Chief Minister and also named him as “Accused no 1” in a case that involves 14 others in its First Information Report (FIR). The raids, which began at 8 am, at Sisodia’s residence and 31 other locations finally concluded after 15 hours at 11 pm.

The now withdrawn liquor policy in the national capital has landed Sisodia, who is also the head of the Excise Department, in soup after the central probe agency filed an FIR in connection with the Excise Policy 2020-2021 and alleged framework irregularities in its execution. 

Also Read: What is the Delhi liquor policy case and why is Deputy CM Manish Sisodia under CBI scanner?

At present, the CBI is investigating three aspects concerning the case, trying to establish how the new liquor policy had benefited the liquor lobby and the kickbacks received by the Delhi government. Firstly, the loss to the state exchequer caused after an import pass fee of Rs 50 per beer case was waived off without the approval of any competent authority.  On top of that, Rs 144 crore on the tendered licenses to the licensees was also waived off, citing pandemic as a cause. Another Rs 30 crore, which should have been otherwise forfeited as per law, was refunded to the lowest bidder for the airport license after it failed to obtain an NOC from the airport authorities.

Also Read: All you need to know about CBI raids against Manish Sisodia

The second angle the CBI is probing is the manner in which several excise laws were broken and excise policies were tweaked and fast-tracked for the benefit of the liquor lobby without the authorisation and knowledge of competent authorities, including the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi.

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The third angle the CBI is looking into is whether there was any financial quid pro quo involved during the whole process.

Apart from Sisodia, three other IAS officers are being questioned, while 11 other officers were suspended by L-G Vinai Saxena in connection with the case over “deliberate lapses” in the implementation of the excise policy. According to reports, some vital and confidential documents regarding the excise policy have been seized from the residence of a government official, the location of which is yet to be disclosed. No cash has been recovered so far. After the searches are over, Sisodia is likely to be summoned for questioning by the CBI. He might be arrested if he is found uncooperative, trying to conceal facts or if any incriminating evidence is found against him.

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