- Sputnik India, 1920, 09.12.2022
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BJP, AAP Engage in Spat Over Delhi Liquor Policy Case

CC0 / / Liquor
Liquor - Sputnik India, 1920, 07.05.2023
The AAP-governed Delhi government introduced a new liquor policy in November 2021. However, it came under the scanner of probe agencies last year after Lieutenant Governor V.K. Saxena suggested the policy violated rules and ordered an investigation.
Delhi’s governing Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and opposition party in the national capital Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday engaged in a spat over an alleged liquor policy scam.
Earlier in the day, Delhi Education Minister and senior AAP politician Atishi Marlena, while addressing a press conference referring to a court order, claimed that there was no scam in the liquor policy, while the BJP taunted the governing party with what a judge had earlier said about former Delhi minister Manish Sisodia while denying him bail in the case.
During the press conference, Marlena said that a court order from 6 May observed that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) have no evidence that INR 1 billion ($12,235,450) were received as kickbacks and that the AAP spent the money on the Goa State Assembly polls.
Citing the court’s order, she said: “I am not saying this rather this has been said in the order by Rouse Avenue Court yesterday. According to the court, there is no specific evidence showing any such cash evidence of bribe or repayment of kickbacks. The only evidence presented has been some vague statements by witnesses, and on the basis of these statements, it cannot be inferred that cash payments were given as bribes.”
“For the last 6 months, ED and CBI officials are sitting in Goa and have interrogated and raided all the vendors. Even after six months of raids, those who had alleged a bribe of INR 1,000 million ($12,235,450) have said in front of the court that the AAP spent INR 1.9 million ($23,247) in cash in the Goa elections. ED has proved that AAP is the most honest party in the country”, the AAP politician further stated.
The Delhi minister also accused the agencies of working at the behest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office.
Reacting to Marlena’s statements, BJP Delhi unit spokesperson Harish Khurana said in a tweet in Hindi that "If you are so fond of reading the court's references, and have the habit of giving yourself certificates of honesty, then read what the court said about Manish Sisodia and tell it to the public”.
Khurana also shared a video of him reading the court’s observation about former Delhi deputy state chief Manish Sisodia, who is the prime accused in the corruption case registered by the CBI in relation to the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy.
The BJP politician also shared the court’s observation, which read that Sisodia had “played the most important and vital role” in the criminal conspiracy and “had been deeply involved in the formulation as well as the implementation of the said policy to ensure achievement of objectives of the said (criminal) conspiracy”. The court observation further stated that “as per allegations made by the prosecution and the evidence collected in support thereof so far”, Sisodia “can prima facie be held to be the architect of the said criminal conspiracy”.
Khurana went on to allege that Delhi state chief Arvind Kejriwal was the kingpin of the alleged liquor policy scam and would soon be in jail.
He even said that the AAP must stop giving itself certificates of honesty.

Liquor Policy Case

The alleged scam involving the liquor policy introduced by the AAP government in Delhi came into the light after Lieutenant Governor V.K. Saxena last year ordered a probe into it, citing financial irregularities in its formulation and execution.
The federally-governing BJP has repeatedly accused the AAP, its national convenor Kejriwal, and Sisodia of giving undue benefits to liquor vend licensees.
However, the AAP has denied all the allegations and said that the case against Sisodia is false.
Meanwhile, the CBI arrested Sisodia on 23 March this year, and he has been in jail since then. His bail plea is scheduled to be heard on 11 May.