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The BJP says the AAP ignored the expert panel’s recommendations

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In Science and Space: Referring to the excise policy of Delhi, Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi on Tuesday said that directors and stakeholders of the companies associated with liquor cannot be the same.

He also claimed that on October 25, 2021, some similar cases were brought to the notice of the government by the Excise Department of Delhi in which producers, retailers and distributors were alike but no action was taken on it.

“According to the excise policy of Delhi, the producer, retailer and distributor of liquor cannot be one. Not only this, the directors and stakeholders of the companies associated with them cannot be the same,” said Trivedi while addressing the media at the BJP headquarters in Delhi.

Meanwhile, BJP MP Parvesh Verma said that an expert committee had suggested that publicity to increase the sale of liquor should not be done but the Delhi government started giving one carton of liquor free of cost.

The AAP government returned ₹144 crore to such persons but did not waive a single penny to small businessmen during the Covid pandemic. It is the only city where the Minister of Education is the Minister of Liquor, he said.

The allegations were aimed at Minister of Education and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia after the Central Bureau of Investigation raided his residence on August 19. The CBI had filed a case against over alleged corruption in the 2021-22 excise policy. The excise policy was subsequently withdrawn by the AAP government.

CBI had last week carried out searches at Sisodia’s official residence and carried out raids at several other places in connection with the alleged corruption in the implementation of Delhi’s Excise Policy. Searches were conducted in seven States and a Union Territory, including the premises of former Delhi Excise Commissioner Arava Gopi Krishna.

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Sisodia is among 15 persons booked in an FIR filed by the CBI. Excise officials, liquor company executives, dealers along with some unknown public servants and private persons have been booked in the case. The FIR said that “facts in the matter prima facie disclose the commission of offences” punishable under section 120-B, 477A IPC and section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988″ against the accused.

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. It was further alleged that illegal gains on the count of these acts were diverted to concerned public servants by private parties and making false entries in their books of accounts.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Sunday issued a Look Out Circular (LOC) against eight accused – all private persons – in connection with the CBI case for alleged irregularities in the excise policy. The premises of the then Excise Commissioner Arava Gopi Krishna and Anand Tiwari were among those searched.

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