Delhi liquor policy: ED raids 35 locations across three states
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) raided 35 locations throughout the country on Friday, including liquor firms, distributors, and supply chain networks, NDTV reported. The move is part of the probe agency's money laundering investigation into alleged corruption in the Delhi Excise Policy by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) administration, it said. Officials said that searches were underway in Delhi, Punjab, and Hyderabad.
Why does this story matter?
- The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is probing alleged irregularities by the AAP administration in issuing liquor licenses on the recommendations of Delhi Lieutenant-Governor (LG) VK Saxena.
- Later, the ED initiated its probe based on the FIR filed by the CBI.
- Notably, the Delhi excise policy has been a cause of contention between the AAP and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led central government.
Kejriwal attacked BJP-led Centre over raids
Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal attacked the Centre over raids and termed the action as "dirty politics." "More than 500 raids, since 3 months more than 300 CBI/ED officers are working 24 hours - one to find evidence against Manish Sisodia. Can't find anything because nothing was done," Kejriwal tweeted. "How will such a country progress?" he added.
Kejriwal's tweet in Hindi
500 से ज़्यादा रेड, 3 महीनों से CBI/ED के 300 से ज़्यादा अधिकारी 24 घंटे लगे हुए हैं- एक मनीष सिसोदिया के ख़िलाफ़ सबूत ढूँढने के लिए। कुछ नहीं मिल रहा। क्योंकि कुछ किया ही नहीं— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) October 7, 2022
अपनी गंदी राजनीति के लिए इतने अधिकारियों का समय बर्बाद किया जा रहा है। ऐसे देश कैसे तरक़्क़ी करेगा? https://t.co/VN3AMc6TUd
Arrest of liquor baron, AAP communications in-charge
The ED arrested liquor baron Sameer Mahendru in Delhi last week in connection with the money laundering case. The action came barely a day after the CBI booked Vijay Nair, the AAP's communications head and a close aide to Sisodia. According to a CBI FIR, Sisodia's other aide Arjun Pandey took Rs. 2 to 4 crore in cash from Mahendru on behalf of Nair.
Significant developments in the case so far
The Delhi AAP administration released its excise policy in November 2021, and the ED is currently looking into suspected irregularities in its creation and implementation. Although the policy has now been reversed, the probe is on. In connection with the liquor policy case, the ED had earlier in September searched more than 70 places in Delhi and other cities.
Here's more about the alleged scam
The ED launched its investigation in response to the FIR filed by CBI, which names Sisodia as the key accused in the case. The claims of irregularities in the execution of the Delhi liquor policy have been rejected by Sisodia and the AAP. Enforced in November 2021 and scrapped in July 2022, it privatized the sale of alcoholic beverages in Delhi.