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New liquor policy: Delhi L-G doubles down, now wants report against excise dept officials

Sources said the excise department officials are under scanner for allegedly not keeping the Chief Secretary and L-G in the loop on the developments about the new policy.

Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena with Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy CM Manish Sisodia. (Photo: Twitter/@LtGovDelhi)

A day after recommending a CBI probe into the Delhi Excise Policy, Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena Saturday directed Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar to submit a report detailing “role of officers and civil servants in its illegal formulation, amendments and implementation”.

The Lt-Governor’s move on Friday had followed a report submitted by Kumar on the matter on July 8, accusing Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia of providing undue benefits to liquor vend licensees in lieu of “kickbacks” and “commissions” and the money being used in the recent Punjab elections.

Sources said the excise department officials are under scanner for allegedly not keeping the Chief Secretary and L-G in the loop on the developments about the new policy.

“With the records available so far, it is more than evident that not only did certain officers, posted on certain positions, ignored and facilitated decisions that were in complete violation of the GNCTD, Act, 1991, Transaction of Business Rules, 1993, Delhi Excise Act, 2009, and Delhi Excise Rules, 2010, but prima facie acted as proactive conduits in formulating and implementing illegal orders at Sisodia’s behest,” officials in the L-G’s office claimed Saturday.

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“The L-G has sought inter-alia, a comprehensive report of activities, dealings and scrutiny of files thereof and details of the role played by officers, if any, thereto. Appropriate action as per law will be taken against such officers once the report is submitted and examined,” they said.

The AAP and its chief Arvind Kejriwal, meanwhile, also came under fire from Union Minister Anurag Thakur, who said on Saturday: “Kejriwal has not kept any portfolio under him but he has given his ministers a free rein to indulge in corruption by allocating them important portfolios. The way Sisodia… has been accused of corruption and the way liquor vendors were given free hand to operate in the national capital, it suggests the Kejriwal government is knee-deep in corruption. Those who used to give sermons on corruption are today themselves indulging in it.”

Kejriwal had hit back on Friday, saying the Lt-Governor was making “false allegations” and leaders of the AAP were “not afraid of jail”. “The Centre has adopted a new strategy to frame a person. First, it selects a person, tries to find something against them, and when it fails, it frames a false case and allegations to send the minister to jail,” he said.

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Sisodia, in a tweet, had said: “Modi ji is very afraid of Kejriwal ji. People have become disillusioned with Modi ji. Now the country has hope only from Kejriwal ji. As AAP’s influence grows across the country, there will be many more false cases. But no jail can stop Kejriwal ji and AAP. The future belongs to AAP, the future belongs to India.”

First published on: 23-07-2022 at 08:15:44 pm
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