Not afraid: Manish Sisodia after 14-hour CBI raid
New Delhi, Aug 19: Manish Sisodia, the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi on Friday night asserted that he did not commit any wrong and was not scared by the Central Bureau of Investigation and its raid.
He was speaking after the CBI raided Manish Sisodia's home and 30 other locations in connection with alleged corruption in the implementation of the Delhi Excise Policy. During the 14-hour raid, the agency officials seized incriminating documents, articles, digital records relating to the new excise policy from the home of a public servant.
"CBI team came this morning. They searched my house and seized my computer and phone. My family cooperated with them and will continue to cooperate. We have not done any corruption or wrong. We are not afraid. We know that CBI is being misused," Sisodia told reporters after the raid.
"Efforts are being made to stop the good works of the Delhi government. We've not done anything wrong. They (CBI) have not called me (for further questioning). CBI has taken my computer, phone and some files," he added.
The AAP condemned the raids with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal claiming the agency has been "asked from above" to harass its leaders. The BJP asked the Delhi government to come out clean on its excise policy.
The searches at the AAP leader's home, the residence of IAS officer and former excise commissioner Arava Gopi Krishna and 29 other places took place after the CBI registered an FIR for alleged corruption and bribery formulation and execution of the Delhi Excise Policy brought out last November, officials said.
The CBI, which registered an FIR in a special court here on Wednesday, began its raids from 8 AM in seven states including the residence of Sisodia who immediately tweeted about the arrival of the sleuths and "welcomed" the move.
Under CBI probe are at least two payments in crores allegedly made to "close associates" of Sisodia by Sameer Mahendru, owner of Indospirits, who was one of the liquor traders actively involved in irregularities in the framing and implementation of the excise policy.
The FIR alleged Sisodia's "close associates" Amit Arora, director of Buddy Retail Pvt. Limited in Gurugram, Dinesh Arora and Arjun Pandey were "actively involved in managing and diverting the undue pecuniary advantage collected from liquor licensees" for the accused public servants.
It said Radha Industries managed by Dinesh Arora allegedly received Rs 1 crore from Mahendru. Pandey, also an associate of Sisodia, had once collected a cash of about Rs 2-4 crore from Mahendru on behalf of Vijay Nair, former CEO of Only Much Louder, an entertainment and event management company, the FIR has alleged.
The CBI has invoked IPC section related to criminal conspiracy and provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act in its FIR filed against 15 persons including four public servants Sisodia, Krishna, former Deputy Excise Commissioner Anand Tiwari and assistant excise commissioner Pankaj Bhatnagar, nine businessmen and two companies.
Delhi Lt Governor V K Saxena last month recommended a CBI probe into alleged irregularities in the implementation of the Excise Policy 2021-22. He had also suspended 11 excise officials in the matter. Sisodia had also demanded a CBI probe into the alleged irregularities in the policy.