CBI registers FIR against Manish Sisodia in 'snooping case'
An FIR was filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against seven individuals, including Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, in connection with a "snooping case" related to the party's alleged Feedback Unit (FBU). The CBI claimed that it found that the FBU allegedly collected "political intelligence" and suggested that a case be filed against Sisodia.
Why does this story matter?
- The case against Sisodia comes only a few weeks after the investigation agency arrested him in the Delhi liquor policy case on February 26.
- According to the CBI, the FBU, which was formed to combat corruption, was used to spy on its political opponents.
- It also claimed that the unit was established without the permission of then-Lieutenant Governor (LG) Najeeb Jung.
CBI received prosecution sanction from home ministry
Reportedly, the Union Home Ministry had given the CBI sanction for prosecution against the former Delhi deputy CM in the case. In an official communication to the principal secretary to Delhi Lieutenant Governor (L-G) VK Saxena, the home ministry stated the sanction to prosecute Sisodia was granted under the 1988 Prevention of Corruption Act's Section 17.
FBU set up by Delhi government in 2015
According to the CBI, the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP suggested forming the FBU in 2015 to collect relevant details and feedback regarding the working of the various departments and autonomous institutions, entities, and bodies under the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) authority. It was also formed to do "trap cases," the agency alleged.
No sanction from L-G taken for FBU appointments: CBI
The CBI also stated that no approval was obtained from L-G for the FBU appointments. Per the probe agency's allegations, the Delhi chief minister moved the suggestion in a Cabinet meeting in 2015; however, no agenda note was circulated. It also said that the unit started operating in 2016 with a reported provision of Rs. 1 crore for secret service expenses.
Kejriwal reacts to CBI's new FIR against Sisodia
While reacting to yet another lawsuit against the former Delhi deputy CM, Kejriwal took to Twitter on Thursday and claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi plans to "slap" numerous "false cases" against Sisodia. In his tweet, the AAP chief wrote: "PM's plan is to slap several false cases against Manish and keep him in custody for a long period. Sad for the country!"
Twitter post by Delhi CM
PM’s plan is to slap several false cases against Manish and keep him in custody for a long period. Sad for the country! https://t.co/G48JtXeTIc— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) March 16, 2023
Kejriwal has lost all moral rights: Manjinder Singh Sirsa
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa also reached to this latest development, stating: "CBI has registered fresh corruption case against Manish Sisodia over alleged irregularities in Delhi Government's 'Feedback Unit.' Kattar Beimaan (hardcore fraud) Kejriwal Ji has used Manish Sisodia for fulfilling all his illegal aspirations." "Kejriwal Ji has lost all moral rights to be the CM of Delhi," he added.
Twitter post by Sirsa
CBI has regd fresh corruption case against Manish Sisodia over alleged irregularities in Delhi Govt’s 'Feedback Unit'— Manjinder Singh Sirsa (@mssirsa) March 16, 2023
Kattar Beimaan Kejriwal Ji has used Manish Sisodia for fulfilling all his illegal aspirations. Kejriwal Ji has lost all moral rights to be the CM of Delhi@ANI pic.twitter.com/uzpkFxSEvm
CBI, ED's probe into Delhi policy scam case
The probe into the now-scrapped liquor policy was launched last year in response to Delhi L-G's directives following numerous allegations of corruption. The probe agencies have alleged that a "south group" paid Rs. 100 crore in kickbacks to the AAP-led government via Sisodia's aide Vijay Nair in return for disproportionate advantages. To note, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and CBI are probing the case separately.