NEW DELHI: The Lieutenant Governor continues to be at loggerheads with the Delhi government over its excise policy. The fierce face-off hit a new high on Saturday.
Days after recommending a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into anomalies in the distribution of licenses in Delhi Liquor Policy 2021-22, Delhi LG VK Saxena suspended the then Excise Commissioner Arava Gopi Krishna (2012 batch IAS) and Deputy Commissioner Anand Kumar Tiwari while initiating major disciplinary action against them.
Both the officers were believed to be close to Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who is also the Chief of the Excise Department of Delhi.
The LG also ordered suspension and disciplinary action against three other Adhoc DANICS officers and six officials of the Excise Department. Their names are three assistant commissioners – Pankaj Bhatnagar, Narinder Singh, and Neeraj Gupta, three section officers – Kuljeet Singh, Subhash Ranjan, and Suman — and three dealing hands – Satya Brat Bhargava, Sachin Solanki and Gaurav Maan.
The LG took the decision in view of the serious lapses made by these officers in the implementation of the excise policy. The lapses included irregularities in finalizing the tender and extending post-tender benefits to select vendors, as revealed by the Directorate of Vigilance (DoV) in its report after inquiry.
Sources said the LG had asked the Delhi Chief Secretary (CS) to submit a detailed report and names of the officers who made and implemented the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22. Action has been taken after the CS submitted its report.
Meanwhile, Deputy CM Sisodia on Saturday alleged that the government had to suffer a lot of losses because the then LG office had stalled a few files due to which over 300 liquor shops in unauthorized areas never opened in Delhi. He had also demanded a CBI inquiry into the matter.