Security beefed up outside CBI HQ ahead of Kejriwal’s questioning in alleged excise policy scam


New Delhi: Delhi Police personnel and paramilitary forces will be deployed in large numbers outside the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) headquarters in the national capital today ahead of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s questioning in the alleged Delhi excise policy scam case, sources in the Delhi Police told ThePrint.

This will be done to avoid a law and order situation, they said, adding that the area around the CBI headquarters will also be cordoned off with barricades as a precaution. 

According to senior police officers, the deployment will comprise more than 1,000 personnel, along with paramilitary forces, who will be stationed outside the agency’s headquarters and the office of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) office.

Kejriwal has been asked to appear before the agency at 11 am.

“This is being done to ensure the safety of the CM and also to avoid any untoward incident. We have received information about mobilisation by AAP workers,” a senior police officer told ThePrint. 

The officer added, “Security arrangements have been made to also ensure that the investigating agency can conduct its work properly. Security will also be strengthened outside AAP’s office in Rouse Avenue. We have paramilitary forces with us and they are deployed as needed. On Sunday, they will be stationed outside the CBI headquarters.”

Kejriwal has been issued summons by the CBI almost two months after former deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia’s arrest in connection with the case. Sisodia, who is accused No. 1 in the first information report (FIR) registered by the agency, is currently lodged in Tihar.

The Delhi CM said in a tweet Saturday that his party would file cases against the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the CBI “for perjury and producing false evidence in court”.

“The cases are fabricated and malicious. No wonder they never found evidence or alleged proceeds of alleged crime,” AAP spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Raghav Chadha tweeted later in the day.

Addressing a press conference Saturday, Kejriwal slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), saying that central agencies have been tasked with probing the alleged excise policy scam. “They must have found everything by now, including the money,” he said.

Adding, “The day I spoke against corruption in the Delhi assembly, I knew I would be summoned next.”

“BJP leaders have been saying since yesterday that Kejriwal will be arrested. If the BJP has given orders to the CBI to arrest, how can CBI disobey their orders? They will have to follow the BJP’s orders,” he remarked. 

Also read: French firm Pernod Ricard violated Delhi’s liquor policy to boost market share, says ED

The questioning 

So far, Kejriwal has not been named as an accused in the cases either by the CBI or the ED in connection with the alleged Delhi excise scam. This is the first time that he has been called in by the CBI for questioning in this case.

According to sources in the CBI, he will be questioned about the alleged irregularities in the modification of the Delhi government’s now-withdrawn excise policy as the agency suspects that it favoured some individuals, including liquor barons.

The agency had registered an FIR last year to investigate alleged irregularities in the formulation and execution of the Delhi Excise Policy introduced in 2021.

“Kejriwal was aware of how undue favours, such as waivers and reduction in the licence fee, and extension of L-1 license (granted to business entities with wholesale distribution experience in liquor trade), were being extended to the licensees. He will also be questioned on the alleged kickbacks received for these favours,” a source had told ThePrint.

Allegations against Sisodia and other government officials include extending undue favours to liquor licensees, which allegedly led to a loss of Rs 140 crore, and receiving kickbacks for these favours, and conniving with owners of several private companies for the scam.

According to the chargesheet filed by the ED, a copy of which is with ThePrint, AAP media and communications in-charge Vijay Nair, who had allegedly received Rs 100 crore from the ‘South Group’, had arranged a meeting of the Delhi CM with the owner of Indospirit Group, Sameer Mahendru.

When the meeting did not take place, a Facetime call was allegedly arranged by Nair wherein Kejriwal allegedly told Mahendru that Nair “was his boy” and should be trusted, said the chargesheet. 

(Edited by Smriti Sinha)

Also read: Delhi excise scam: ED says aide represented K. Kavitha’s interests, calls her for questioning


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