Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been summoned by the CBI as a witness in the Delhi excise policy scam case. Here are the key facts and developments of this case that have rocked the Delhi government.
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal will appear before the CBI on April 16 in connection with the Delhi excise policy scam case. Find out what this case is about and how it affects the AAP government.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has summoned Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal as a witness in the Delhi excise policy scam case. He will appear before the agency on April 16 at 11 am, according to a notice issued by the CBI.
What is the Delhi excise policy scam case?
The case pertains to alleged irregularities in the excise policy of the Delhi government for 2021-22, which was approved by Kejriwal and his former deputy Manish Sisodia. The policy aimed to overhaul the liquor distribution system in Delhi and introduce a new barcode system for liquor bottles.
The CBI registered a preliminary inquiry in September 2022 after receiving a complaint from Delhi BJP leader Vijender Gupta. Gupta had alleged that the excise policy was designed to benefit certain private entities and caused a loss of Rs 5,000 crore to the public exchequer. He had also claimed that Kejriwal and Sisodia had received kickbacks from the beneficiaries of the policy.
What has been the CBI’s action so far?
The CBI raided several premises of Delhi government officials and liquor contractors in connection with the case in October 2022. It also questioned Sisodia, who was arrested on November 28 after he failed to cooperate with the investigation. He is currently lodged in Tihar jail.
The CBI has also issued notices to several other AAP leaders and officials, including cabinet ministers Satyendar Jain and Kailash Gahlot, MLAs Raghav Chadha and Atishi Marlena, and chief secretary Vijay Dev.
How has AAP reacted to the CBI summons?
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has termed the CBI action as a political vendetta by the BJP-led central government. It has accused the agency of preparing to arrest Kejriwal on false charges and trying to destabilize the elected government of Delhi.
AAP has also defended its excise policy as transparent and progressive. It has claimed that the policy has increased the revenue collection from liquor sales and reduced corruption and illegal liquor trade in Delhi.
Who is Arvind Kejriwal?
Arvind Kejriwal is the national convener of AAP and a prominent opposition leader. He has been serving as the Chief Minister of Delhi since 2015 and has won three consecutive assembly elections with a landslide majority. He is also known for his anti-corruption activism and his role in India Against Corruption movement.
He is a mechanical engineer from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur and a former bureaucrat who worked in the Indian Revenue Service. In 2006, he was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award for his involvement in the Parivartan movement using right-to-information legislation in a campaign against government corruption.
Why is this case important?
This case is important because it involves one of the most popular and influential chief ministers in India. It also raises questions about the credibility and autonomy of the CBI, which is often accused of being misused by the central government for political purposes. Moreover, it has implications for the upcoming general elections in 2024, where AAP is expected to challenge BJP in several states.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to share them below.