CBI quizzes arrested Delhi minister Sisodia’s PA in liquor policy case

Simultaneously, a team of ED officials is questioning Sisodia inside the Tihar jail.

New Delhi | Updated: 07 March, 2023 3:25 pm IST
Former Delhi deputy CM Manish Sisodia is currently lodged in Tihar Jail.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is questioning his personal assistant Devendra Sharma in connection with the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy case.

Sharma arrived at the CBI headquarters on Tuesday afternoon and he is being questioned about mobile phones he had bought for Sisodia, who was the deputy chief minister at the time of his arrest 10 days back.

Sisodia, who is accused of corruption in the formation and implementation of the Delhi Excise Policy for the year 2022-23, was arrested following questioning for more than 8 hours on February 26.

He was sent to CBI’s custody for five days, which was later extended for two days. On Monday, a local court sent to 14-day judicial custody till March 20. The senior AAP leader was questioned by the agency for more than seven hours during his custody.

Enforcement Directorate (ED) – which is probing a money laundering angle to the alleged corruption – earlier alleged that Sisodia changed his mobile phone more than 17 times in a span of two years when the excise policy was being drafted.

During the ED probe, it was revealed that 36 accused or suspects in the excise policy case had changed over 170 mobile phones worth ₹1.38 crores.

Simultaneously, a team of ED officials is questioning Sisodia inside the Tihar jail. A court has permitted ED to question him for three days.

Based on a complaint lodged by the LG, a case was filed by CBI on August 17 last year.

Apart from Sisodia, the agency has named his close aide Vijay Nair, who is also the former CEO of Mumbai-based entertainment and event management company Only Much Louder, besides 13 private people across Lucknow, Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai and Karnataka, which include liquor firms Brindco and Indospirit.

In August last year, CBI carried out searches at several locations, including the premises of Sisodia. Even so, ED had carried out searches at over 169 locations in connection with the case.

In its FIR, CBI alleged that close associates of Sisodia were actively involved in “managing and diverting the undue pecuniary advantage” collected from liquor licenses to accused public servants.

Last year, the ED filed its first charge sheet in the excise policy money laundering case against five persons – Mahendru, Khao Gali Restaurants Pvt Ltd, Indospirits, Bubbly Beverages Pvt Ltd, IndoSpirits Distribution Limited – before a Delhi court. The court took cognizance of the ED charge sheet on December 22.

Last month, ED arrested Magunta Raghava Reddy, son of YSR Congress Party MP Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy, Gautham Malhotra and Chariot Media owner Rajesh Joshi.

The CBI also questioned K Kavitha, daughter of Telangana Chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, in connection with the case.

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