Delhi Excise Policy ‘Scam’: Sanjay Singh Arrested; Know What ED Chargesheet Says About AAP MP | Explained – News18

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Last Updated: October 04, 2023, 18:20 IST

AAP MP Sanjay Singh’s arrest comes after ED raids at his residence earlier on October 4. (Image: PTI)

AAP MP Sanjay Singh is the third leader to be arrested in the money laundering case even as the bail plea of former Delhi deputy CM Manish Sisodia, who was arrested in February, is up for hearing in the SC

The Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday arrested AAP leader Sanjay Singh in connection with the alleged Delhi excise policy scam, following raids at his residence earlier in the day. He is the third leader to be arrested in the money laundering case even as the bail plea of former Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, who was put in jail in February, is up for hearing in the Supreme Court.

The Enforcement Directorate conducted searches at the 51-year-old Rajya Sabha MP’s home alongside raids at the premises of some others linked to the case. Singh’s staff members and those linked to him were earlier questioned by the ED in the case and his name is also mentioned in the chargesheet filed by the ED.

Allegations that Sanjay Singh tweaked liquor policy in lieu of money

The ED chargesheet states that Dinesh Arora, a middleman and close aide of Sisodia, had said he had met Singh during a party in his restaurant Unplugged Courtyard. In 2020, Singh requested him to ask restaurant owners to generate funds for the AAP for the Delhi assembly elections, for which he said he was given a cheque of Rs 82 lakh for the funds.

The chargesheet further mentions that as per Dinesh Arora’s statement another accused, Amit Arora, wanted help in moving his liquor shop from Okhla to Pitampura. He managed this through Singh who told Sisodia and the matter was resolved by the excise department. Dinesh also said he met Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal once at his residence with Singh while he had spoken to Sisodia five to six times, the chargesheet states.

Singh’s arrest comes a day after Dinesh Arora and YSRCP MP Magunta Reddy’s son Raghav Manguta turned approver in the case. There are allegations against Singh about the role he played in tweaking the excise policy in lieu of money, sources said.

What is the Delhi liquor policy scam?

The investigation pertains to the money laundering case linked to the Delhi excise policy introduced in 2021, which has now been scrapped. Under the policy, the government no longer had anything to do with selling liquor and would exit from the liquor business in Delhi.

The policy allowed only private vendors to do so and licences were issued to private players for 849 vends. The aim of the policy was to stop black marketing, increase revenue and improve the consumer experience.

Under the policy, the home delivery of liquor was allowed and shops could stay open till 3 am. Licencees could also offer unlimited discounts.

The reforms, however, ran into trouble when in July 2022, Delhi chief secretary Naresh Kumar submitted a report to lieutenant governor Vinai Kumar Saxena accusing Sisodia of providing undue benefits to liquor vend licencees in lieu of “kickbacks” and “commissions”. Saxena then recommended a CBI probe into the alleged irregularities in the policy, based on the report.

The ED also launched a probe alleging money laundering in the matter, and that a liquor lobby had paid at least Rs 100 crore in kickbacks to AAP.

AAP leaders probed so far

Sisodia was probed as he held the excise portfolio in the Delhi cabinet. He was also named along with 15 other individuals in the FIR filed by CBI and, on February 26, he was arrested after nearly eight hours of questioning. He quit as deputy CM on February 28.

He was questioned regarding different aspects of the excise policy, his alleged link with Dinesh Arora and other accused mentioned in the FIR. In its nearly 270-page supplementary chargesheet, which has annexures running into 2,000 pages, the ED has called Sisodia a “key conspirator”.

Kejriwal was also summoned by the CBI in April, where he was questioned for over nine hours in connection with the case.

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