Delhi LG Recommends CBI Probe Into Kejriwal Govt's Liquor Policy Over Alleged Lapses

Delhi government's new Excise Policy was implemented in November last year. Under the policy, retail licences were given to private bidders for 849 liquor vends across the city.

By Subhasish Dutta
Fri, 22 Jul 2022 11:16 AM IST
Minute Read
Delhi LG Recommends CBI Probe Into Kejriwal Govt's Liquor Policy Over Alleged Lapses
A file image of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal at a press conference in New Delhi. (ANI Photo)

Delhi Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena on Friday recommended a CBI probe into Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government's Excise Policy over alleged violations of rules.

The CBI inquiry was recommended on Delhi Chief Secretary's report filed earlier this month, showing prima facie violations of GNCTD Act 1991, Transaction of Business Rules (ToBR)-1993, Delhi Excise Act-2009 and Delhi Excise Rules-2010, news agency PTI reported quoting officials.

The officials said that there were also "deliberate and gross procedural lapses" to provide post tender "undue benefits to liquor licensees".

The new Excise policy 2021-22 was implemented on November 17 last year under which retail licences were given to private bidders for 849 vends across the city divided into 32 zones.

Many liquor stores failed to open for being located in non-confirming areas of the city. Several such vends were sealed by the municipal corporations, they said.

The BJP and Congress had vociferously opposed the policy and lodged complaint with the LG as well as central agencies for a probe into it.

According to news agency ANI, Sisodia's role is also under the scanner for alleged deliberate and gross procedural lapses which provided undue benefits to the tender process for liquor licensees for the year 2021-22.

"Sisodia had executed decisions in violation of the statutory provisions of the Excise Policy, which could have huge financial implications," ANI reported quoting sources in the LG office. Such "undue financial favours" to the liquor licensees after the deadline for awarding tenders caused huge losses to the exchequer, said sources.

Sources further said the move was done with the sole aim of benefitting private liquor barons.

However, the Delhi government's version is that the policy was formulated to ensure the generation of optimum revenue, and eradicate the sale of spurious liquor or non-duty paid liquor in Delhi, besides improving user experience.

(With Agency Inputs)

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