Delhi liquorgate: ED likely to confront Manish Sisodia, Kavitha today
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) will likely question former Delhi deputy chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Manish Sisodia and Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) MLC K Kavitha together on Saturday in connection with its money laundering probe into the alleged Delhi liquor policy scam. This comes a day after the ED alleged a "conspiracy" in formulating the now-scrapped policy before a Delhi court.
Why does this story matter?
- On February 26, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) detained Sisodia in the Delhi liquor policy case.
- It claimed Sisodia was responsible for creating the liquor policy, under which the AAP administration waived the licensing price for a purported "south group" in exchange for a bribe of Rs. 100 crore.
- The funds were allegedly utilized by the AAP for Goa and Punjab election campaigns.
Sisodia to be brought face-to-face with BRS leader Kavitha
The ED might bring Sisodia and Kavitha face-to-face on Saturday and question them over the alleged money laundering in the Delhi liquor policy scam, News18 reported. On Friday, the ED named both leaders in an alleged conspiracy related to the policy. It told Delhi's Rouse Avenue Court the conspiracy was orchestrated by Sisodia's aide Vijay Nair and others from the "south group," including Kavitha.
Nexus between Sisodia and Kavitha, ED alleges
The ED also told the court that the 12% wholesale profit margin to private firms under the said policy was never discussed in the Group of Ministers (GoM) meeting. The agency stated that one of the accused, Butchibabu Gorantla revealed that Sisodia and Kavitha had a political agreement. Incidentally, Gorantla is Kavitha's former auditor who is now out on bail in the case.
Sisodia denied allegations through his counsel
Meanwhile, Sisodia denied all ED claims through his counsel Senior Advocate Dayan Krishnan, who argued that in money laundering, one must examine the use of the funds and trace them back to the accused. "However...not even a single penny has been linked to [my client]. The investigative authorities have failed to solve even a tiny portion of the alleged money trail," he said.
Can put me in jail, can't break my spirits: Sisodia
Case registered on Delhi L-G's direction
The investigation into the now-scrapped policy was launched last year in response to Delhi Lieutenant Governor (L-G) VK Saxena's directives after allegations of corruption. Previously, the investigation agencies claimed that a "south group" paid Rs. 100 crore in kickbacks to the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government via Sisodia's assistant Nair in exchange for disproportionate benefits. Notably, the CBI and ED are investigating the case separately.