Who is Vijay Nair, Manish Sisodia's 'aide' in liquor scam?
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) issued a Lookout Circular (LOC) on Sunday against eight private individuals listed as suspects in the Delhi liquor policy scam case. One of the accused in the case is the business Vijay Nair, who the investigation agency claimed is Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia's aide and is missing since the recent raids. Here's more details on Nair.
Why does this story matter?
- Sisodia's home was searched by the CBI on August 21 due to charges of corruption in the Delhi liquor policy.
- The Delhi administration and Lieutenant-Governor (LG) VK Saxena are at odds over allegations relating to the recently abandoned dropped policy. Saxena had requested a CBI inquiry.
- The policy, which went into effect in November 2021, privatized the sale of alcoholic drinks in the capital.
Nair is accused of helping officials with money
According to the CBI's FIR, Sisodia's aide Arjun Pandey previously obtained money from Indo Spirits owner Sameer Mahendru on behalf of Nair totaling between Rs. 2 and Rs. 4 crore. Later, Nair allegedly gave the money to the accused government employees in the case. He is also connected to a number of businesses, including those involved with comedic programs on several internet platforms.
He is linked to multiple companies involved in betting, gaming
Nair has business ties to a number of organizations, including Motherswear, Babblefish, and Only Much Louder. Other businesses that are tangentially connected to Nair include Weirdass Comedy, Motormouth Writers, and Rebellion Management, as well as through his co-directors. Officials told India Today citing Registrar of Companies documents that these companies are involved in online gaming, betting, and comedy events.
Nair denied allegations
According to reports, the CBI claimed that Nair went missing while it conducted raids at 31 different places related to the investigation. Meanwhile, Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Parvesh Verma alleged that two of Sisodia's associated, including Nair, had fled the country after the CBI began its investigation. Nair, though, refuted the accusations and claimed he was abroad for personal matters.
What exactly did Nair say?
"I spoke to CBI officers who were present at my residence. I asked if I needed to come, but officials said a CBI officer would get in touch with me and let me when and where to report," he said.
Allegations by BJP leader
Meanwhile, BJP leader Amit Malviya slammed Sisodia over the case He further added that Nair is "purported to be close to Kejriwal". "Sisodia had called some journalists for interaction but grew uncomfortable and called it off when asked about Vijay Nair, accused number 5 in the excise scam, the only non-bureaucrat, a non-liquor business owner in the list of 16," he wrote on Twitter.