Yesterday, the CBI searched a total of 31 places in the country, including the office and house of Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi, alleging irregularities in the excise policy. According to the investigating agency, no money was found in the search, but documentary evidence of the complaint was recovered. The CBI filed an FIR against 15 people including Sisodia in that incident.
While the Congress and the BJP welcomed the probe, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal accused the CBI raid of being a “reflection of the Centre’s vindictive behavior”. The search operation which started in the morning continued till late at night.
The controversial excise policy (2021-22) was implemented by the AAP government last November. From the beginning, there were complaints against the policy that some organizations close to the deputy Chief minister were given extra benefits. As a result, the opposition has claimed that the government has lost about 144 crore rupees in revenue.
Based on the report of Delhi Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar, Delhi Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena wrote a letter to the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs on July 20 suggesting an investigation by the CBI. The Deputy Governor told the Central Home Secretary that there have been allegations of irregularities in the formulation and implementation of the government’s excise policy, nepotism, and giving citations to organizations close to Sisodia.
After the initial investigation, the CBI filed an FIR against 15 persons as accused in the case last Wednesday. So that the first name is Manish.
The CBI searched Manish’s office and home since the morning of Janmashtami yesterday. Which lasted until late at night. In total, yesterday, the investigation agency searched 31 places in the country simultaneously in that case. According to sources, nothing was found in Manish’s house, but during the search, documents related to the complaint were found in the house of a government employee. At night, Sisodia said, CBI confiscated his computer and mobile phone.
Sources in the investigating agency said that based on the documents found, the CBI will start questioning the accused in the coming days. If they do not cooperate with the investigation, it is thought to take the accused into their custody. According to CBI sources, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) will look into whether illegal money transactions have taken place as a result of the formulation of that policy, if necessary, where the money has gone.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Sisodia is also in charge of the Education Department. Incidentally, just yesterday, the American newspaper ‘The New York Times’ (NYT) praised Delhi’s education system. Using that report, Kejriwal said in a press conference yesterday, “CBI was sent to Manish’s house on the same day when Sisodia’s picture was printed on the front page of one of America’s largest papers NYT praising Delhi’s education model. CBI is welcomed by the party. There have been many searches in the past. Nothing found. This time too, like in the past, full cooperation will be provided.”