The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered an FIR against former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and five others over alleged irregularities in the Delhi Government’s ‘Feedback Unit’.
According to the FIR filed on March 14, a preliminary inquiry found that the unlawful manner of creation and working of the Feedback Unit caused wrongful loss to the Government exchequer to the tune of approximately Rs 36 Lakh.
The inquiry has thus revealed that the FBU was willfully created, staffed, funded and incentivized out of public exchequer in an irregular manner by Sisodia, and Sukesh Jain, the then Secretary Vigilance, along with RK Sinha, (Retired DIG, CISF), working as Special Advisor to the CM and Joint Director, FBU, GNCTD, and P K Punj, (Retired Jt. Deputy Director, IB), working as Deputy Director, FBU, GNCTD in violation of rules and regulations and without mandatory approvals, by abuse of their official position and with a dishonest intention to utilize the FBU for purposes other than those for which it was manifestly created.
Moreover, the FBU officials, namely RK Sinha, PK Punj, Satish Khetrapal, besides Shri Gopal Mohan, Advisor to the Chief Minister, conspired to misutilize and allow embezzlement of the Secret Service Fund, besides using the staff of FBU for gathering political intelligence.
From the facts and circumstances that emerged during the investigation, the Competent Authority in CBI has ordered to convert the instant enquiry into a Regular Case under charges of dishonest misappropriation of property, criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust by a public servant, forgery for the purpose of cheating, using as genuine a forged document, falsification of accounts, and criminal misconduct by a public servant.
The former deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, Sisodia, is currently being held by the ED ( Enforcement Directorate) in connection with the same excise policy matter. ED arrested him during his judicial custody in Tihar Jail, where he was lodged.
Sisodia was detained by the CBI on February 26 in connection with the liquor policy case and placed in 14 days of judicial detention on March 6. He was arrested in connection with the alleged irregularities in the framing and implementation of the excise policy of the National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD).
He was placed in judicial prison until March 20 by the Rouse Avenue court in Delhi. The ED also made another arrest in the case earlier, as it took Hyderabad-based businessman Arun Ramchandra Pillai into its custody.
The investigation team has also questioned K Kavitha, a BRS (Bharatiya Rashtriya Samiti ) MLC and daughter of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, over the liquor policy case.
The Delhi Cabinet, headed by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, approved the excise policy in the middle of the deadly Delta Covid-19 pandemic in 2021.
The Delhi Government’s version is that the policy was formulated to ensure the generation of optimum revenue, eradicate the sale of spurious liquor or non-duty paid liquor in Delhi, besides improving user experience.
The CBI had filed a case against alleged corruption in the 2021-22 excise policy. The AAP Government subsequently withdrew the excise policy.
Sisodia was among 15 others booked in an FIR filed by the CBI. Excise officials, liquor company executives, dealers, some unknown public servants and private persons were booked in the case.
It was alleged that irregularities were committed, including modifications in the Excise Policy, and undue favours were extended to the license holders, including waiver or reduction in licence fee, an extension of L-1 license without approval etc.