Wednesday, Sep 28, 2022

‘Can’t find me? Tell me where do you want me to come’: Manish Sisodia on reports of CBI’s lookout notice

The CBI had raided Manish Sisodia's home and office on Friday, along with several other locations, including the houses of 14 others named as accused in the FIR.

manish sisodia cbiDelhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia made the statements on Monday via his Twitter handle. (Express File Photo by Praveen Khanna)

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said Sunday the Centre has issued a lookout notice in connection with the FIR related to the probe in the Capital’s Excise Policy 2021-22 against him even though he is in the city.

Manish Sisodia was reacting to news reports that the CBI has issued a lookout notice against all the 15 accused named in the FIR.

Sisodia said in a tweet in Hindi, “All your raids have failed, you did not find anything. You didn’t find impropriety and corruption of even a paisa. Now, you have issued a lookout notice that Manish Sisodia cannot be found. What is this drama, Modi ji? I am out and about in Delhi, tell me where would you like me to come? You aren’t able to find me?”

Taking to Twitter, Delhi CM and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal said, “At a time when common man is battling with inflation, crores of youth are unemployed, the Central government along with all the state governments should fight unemployment and inflation. Instead, they are fighting with the whole country. Every morning they wake up and start the game of CBI-ED. How will the country progress like this?”

The CBI had raided Sisodia’s home and office Friday, along with several other locations, including the houses of 14 others named as accused in the First Information Report. The FIR also names former Delhi excise commissioner Arava Gopi Krishna and former deputy excise commissioner Anand Tiwari.

It also names Vijay Nair, businessman and former CEO of events and entertainment firm Only Much Louder, who has been working with the AAP for the past three years on media and political strategy. Nair is not in India at present.

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The FIR stated that Praveen Kumar Rai, Director, Ministry of Home Affairs “has conveyed directions of competent authority for enquiry into the matter of irregularities in framing and implementation of the excise policy of GNCTD of Delhi for the year 2021-22”.

“He has also forwarded a letter of L-G Vinai Kumar Saxena alleging irregularities in framing and implementation of the excise policy. The OM is enclosed herewith, which discloses that Manish Sisodia, Deputy CM; Arava Gopi Krishna, then Commissioner (Excise); Anand Tiwari, then Deputy Commissioner (Excise); and Pankaj Bhatnagar, Assistant Commissioner (Excise) were instrumental in recommending and taking decisions pertaining to excise policy for the year 2021-22 without approval of competent authority with an intention to extend undue favours to the licencees post tender,” the FIR stated.

Citing ‘reliable sources’, the CBI, in its FIR, stated that “some of the L-1 licence holders are issuing credit notes to retail vendors with an ab-initio intention to divert the funds as undue pecuniary advantage to public servants. In furtherance to this, they are showing false entries in their books of accounts to keep their record straight”.

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The FIR named three “close associates” of Sisodia and said they “are actively involved in managing and diverting the undue pecuniary advantage collected from liquor licencees to accused public servants”.

First published on: 21-08-2022 at 10:16:06 am
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