ED Searches Multiple Locations in Delhi Excise Policy Money Laundering Cases | Delhi News

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NEW DELHI: The Law Enforcement Directorate raided about 30 premises in Delhi, Telangana, Maharashtra, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka on Tuesday as part of a money laundering investigation into alleged irregularities in the Delhi Excise Policy.
Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and some bureaucrats have been named as defendants in the alleged Delhi excise policy scam, which has now been overturned.
But these do not include premises linked to Sisodia or any other government official, they said.
The federal agency opened an investigation into the case, under the criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), after learning of a CBI FIR who named Sisodia and 14 other people .
The CBI had conducted searches in the case on August 19, covering the Delhi residences of Sisodia (50), IAS officer and former Delhi excise commissioner Arava Gopi Krishna, and 19 other locations in seven states and union territories.
Sisodia holds several portfolios in the Delhi government led by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, including excise and education.
The ED is investigating whether any alleged irregularities were committed in the formulation and execution of Delhi’s excise policy issued in November last year.
The scheme came under scrutiny after Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena recently recommended a CBI investigation into alleged irregularities in the implementation of the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22.
He had also suspended 11 excise officials in this case.
Sisodia also demanded a CBI investigation into alleged policy irregularities.
The CBI investigation was recommended on the findings of Delhi Chief Secretary’s report filed in July showing prima facie violations of GNCTD Act 1991, Transaction of Business Rules (ToBR)-1993, Delhi Excise Act-2009 and Delhi Excise Rules-2010, officials said.
The ED, in the course of its investigation, will analyze whether the individuals and companies that participated in the development of the policies of this regime and related entities generated “proceeds of crime within the meaning of the PMLA definition” and s there has been a possible creation of illegal or active benami products, sources had said.
The agency has the power to seize these assets and to question, arrest and prosecute those who engage in the offense of money laundering.
Officials say chief secretary’s report showed prima facie violations, including ‘deliberate and gross procedural faults’, to provide ‘undue benefits to liquor licensees’ after tender through politics.
It is alleged that undue financial favors were given to liquor licensees after the tenders were awarded, causing losses to the public purse.
The Excise Department has granted a waiver of Rs 144.36 crore to licensees on license fees submitted under the guise of COVID-19, sources say.
They added that he also refunded the deposit of Rs 30 crore to the lowest bidder for the airport area license when he failed to obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the airport authorities.
“This was in gross violation of Rule 48(11)(b) of the Delhi Excise Rules, 2010 which clearly states that the successful bidder must complete all formalities for the grant of the license failing which all deposits made by him will remain confiscated from the government,” a source said.
Excise Policy 2021-22, formulated on the basis of a report by an expert committee, was implemented on November 17 last year and retail licenses were issued under from it to private bidders for 849 sales across the city, divided into 32 zones.
(With PTI entries)



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