Sisodia Accuses Ex-Delhi LG Over Losses In Liquor Policy, Demands CBI Probe; 11 Officials Sacked For Lapses

He further alleged that the former LG didn't make any objection regarding the opening of liquor shops in the unauthorised area when the file was sent to him.

By Talibuddin Khan
Updated: Sat, 06 Aug 2022 03:11 PM IST
Minute Read
Sisodia Accuses Ex-Delhi LG Over Losses In Liquor Policy, Demands CBI Probe; 11 Officials Sacked For Lapses
Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia speaking regarding all allegations made against Delhi's New Excise Policy. (ANI Photo)

Amid the controversy over the AAP-led Delhi government's new liquor policy, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Saturday said he has written to the CBI to probe the changing stands of former LG Anil Baijal on the opening of liquor shops in unauthorised colonies in the capital city.

Sisodia alleged, "Why was the decision changed 48 hours before all the liquor shops were set to open last November? Which shopkeepers got benefitted and under whose pressure LG reversed his decision, all these should be answered".

"Because of the former LG's sudden change of decision, around 300-350 shops did not open. Those who were taking this decision should be investigated. I have written to the CBI to probe ex-LG's change of stance on the opening of liquor shops in unauthorised areas," he said.

The Deputy CM said that the AAP government had passed the new excise policy in May 2021, according to which the number of shops in the whole of Delhi was to be 849 as it was earlier. "But in the policy, the liquor shops were not equally distributed so, we put special emphasis on the equal distribution of the liquor stores in each ward", he said.

Sisodia said that when the file was sent to former LG Baijal, he suggested many things which were considered and later the file was again sent to him in June last year and he approved. The new policy emphasised that if the liquor shops were divided equally, there would be 2-3 shops in each ward, he said.

He further alleged that the former LG didn't make any objection regarding the opening of liquor shops in the unauthorised area when the file was sent to him. But, when the file of opening the shops was sent to him during the first week of November, he suddenly changed his stand. The shops were scheduled to open from November 17, but LG put a condition on November 15 that DDA's approval is needed to open shops in unauthorised areas.

Whereas before this, LG had been approving the opening of shops there, he alleged. Under the old policy, even where there were shops in unauthorised areas also did not open. After that, the vendors went to court and the court ordered the government to return their license fee, due to which the government suffered the loss of thousands of crores of rupees.

"This happened because the LG changed his stand without consulting the government and the cabinet. This deliberately benefited some shopkeepers. That's why we are sending it to CBI", said Sisodia.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena on Saturday suspended 11 officials, including then Delhi excise commissioner Arava Gopi Krishna and deputy excise commissioner Anand Kumar Tiwari, over "serious lapses" in the implementation of the Excise Policy 2021-22. The action was taken by Saxena on the basis of an inquiry report filed by the Directorate of Vigilance (DoV).

Three ad-hoc DANICS officers and six officials of the Delhi government's excise department have also been suspended. The LG has taken the decision in view of the "serious lapses on the part of the officers concerned" in the implementation of the excise policy, including "irregularities in finalising the tender and extending post-tender benefits" to select vendors.

 

(With Agencies Inputs)

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