Fri, 22 Jul 2022 07:48 PM IST
Hours after Delhi Lt. Governor V.K. Saxena recommended a CBI probe into the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government's Excise Policy 2021-22, Union Minister Meenakashi Lekhi on Friday alleged the policy was adopted illegally in the city and that the people have been cheated. Earlier on Friday, the Delhi LG recommended a CBI investigation into the AAP's excise policy after a report by the Chief Secretary established prima facie violations of GNCTD Act 1991, Transaction of Business Rules (ToBR) 1993, Delhi Excise Act 2009 and Delhi Excise Rules 2010.
Addressing a press conference, Lekhi said the liquor policy was adopted illegally, and the people of Delhi have been cheated. "CM Kejriwal should give full details of this scam on the basis of facts. What was the hurry that they had to sign the papers without following the procedure?" she questioned.
Slamming Kejriwal, Lekhi said that his government has violated rules and procedures and promoted cartelisation to benefit liquor firms in Delhi. Lekhi noted that the public exchequer suffered huge losses due to a scam in the liquor trade in the national capital. She also claimed that a waiver of over Rs 144.36 crore was given to licensees and an earnest money deposit worth Rs 30 crore of one company was refunded without following rules and processes.
'Not Afraid Of Jails', Says Arvind Kejriwal:
Shortly after LG's allegations, CM Kejriwal rubbished the allegations and termed it to be a false case and alleged that the central government could not bear to see the expansion of the Aam-Aadmi Party (AAP).
"Whole case is false. I know Sisodia for the past 22 years. He is honest. When he became minister, Delhi government schools were in poor condition. He worked day and night to bring them up to a level where a judge's child and a rickshaw driver's child sit together to study," Kejriwal said at a press briefing here today.
The central government has levelled several allegations against our people as the Aam Aadmi Party has been growing since its win in Punjab. "They cannot bear to see us rise to a national level and thus are resorting to such measures. But nothing will stop us," he said adding that he is neither "scared of jails, nor scared of the noose."
What was the case all about?
Earlier today, Delhi's Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena recommended an investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the alleged violations of the Arvind Kejriwal-led government's new contentious excise policy including "deliberate and gross procedural lapses" made by deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia to "provide post tender undue benefits to liquor licensees."
A report on July 8 by the Chief Secretary established prima facie violations of GNCTD Act 1991, Transaction of Business Rules (ToBR) 1993, Delhi Excise Act 2009, and Delhi Excise Rules 2010. The report indicates substantively financial quid pro quo at the top political level and that the Delhi excise policy was implemented with the sole aim of benefitting private liquor barons for financial benefits to individuals at the highest rungs of the government leading up to Manish Sisodia.
The Minister in charge of the Excise Department, Manish Sisodia took and got executed, major decisions/actions in violation of the statutory provisions and the notified Excise Policy that had huge financial implications, officials at the LG office said.
The LG office said that Sisodia also extended "undue financial favours" to the liquor licensees much after the tenders had been awarded and thus caused huge losses to the exchequer. Sisodia's role is under the scanner for alleged deliberate and gross procedural lapses which provided undue benefits to the tender process for liquor licensees for the years 2021-22. The new Excise policy 2021-22 was implemented in November last year.