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ED conducts 3rd raid in Delhi liquor scam; 35 locations searched

In connection with the Delhi liquor scam, which accuses Deputy CM Manish Sisodia, the ED conducted raids at 35 locations in the nation on Friday. On September 6 and September 16, the central agency additionally conducted searches related to this matter. ED raids are currently taking place in Delhi, Punjab, and Hyderabad, according to reports. Sameer Mahendru, the managing director of the Indospirit Group, was detained by the ED on September 28. His ED custody was increased on Thursday by 4 days. Vijay Nair, the AAP’s communications coordinator, was previously detained by the CBI, which is also looking into this issue.

Commenting on the raids, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal remarked, ‘More than 500 raids, more than 300 CBI/ED officers are working 24 hours since three months to find evidence against Manish Sisodia. They can’t find anything. Because he has not done anything. Time of so many officers is being wasted for their (BJP’s) dirty politics. How will the country progress?’

What is the liquor scam in Delhi?
A CBI investigation of the excise policy of the Arvind Kejriwal-led administration for 2021–2022 was suggested by Delhi LG VK Saxena in July. This strategy, which went into effect on November 17 of last year, involved awarding private bidders retail licences for 849 vending machines spread throughout 32 zones of the city. However, numerous liquor stores were closed by the individual Municipal Corporation since they were situated in Delhi’s non-confirming areas, preventing them from opening. Both the BJP and the Congress opposed this strategy and complained to the LG as well.

Saxena’s proposal was based on the Chief Secretary’s report, which was delivered in July and stated that the policy appeared to be in violation of the GNCTD Act of 1991, the Transaction of Business Rules of 1993, the Delhi Excise Act of 2009, and the Delhi Excise Rules of 2010. According to reports, there were ‘deliberate and severe procedural errors’ to give post-tender ‘undue benefits to liquor licensees’. Additionally, sources stated that the Excise department’s decision to waive almost Rs. 144 crore owed by liquor vend owners has also been questioned.

Manish Sisodia, the deputy chief minister of Delhi, was one of 15 people the CBI charged with violating IPC Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 477A (falsification of accounts), and Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act. On August 19, it carried out raids at 31 places throughout India, including Sisodia’s home. The saffron party has denied AAP’s allegations that it was an attempt to coerce Sisodia and other MLAs into joining BJP in order to overthrow the Arvind Kejriwal-led administration.



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