CBI investigating allegations of money raised from policy tweaks used in AAP’s Goa Assembly polls campaign
New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has summoned Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to appear before the agency on April 16 as a witness in connection with the excise policy “scam”. This development comes more than a month after the agency arrested Kejriwal’s former Deputy CM, Manish Sisodia, in the case.
The CBI has alleged that money raised from tweaking the policy in favour of certain liquor dealers and the South lobby was used during AAP’s election campaign in the Goa Assembly polls, and this aspect is under investigation. The CBI officials have stated that the final decision on Kejriwal’s role, whether as a witness or an accused, will be decided while filing a chargesheet in the case after considering multiple factors.
Sources in the CBI said that Kejriwal was in the “know of the process of policy formulation and the influence of the South lobby, besides changes in the policy draft, which made his questioning necessary”. The CBI may also ask Kejriwal about an “untraceable” file containing details of the expert committee and public comments when the policy was at a nascent stage of formulation, as well as his possible conversation with suspects in the case.
The allegations revolve around the Delhi Government’s excise policy for 2021-22, wherein licenses were granted to liquor traders in exchange for bribes, a charge refuted by AAP. The policy was later scrapped. AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh alleged that the CBI summons were a conspiracy to arrest the Delhi Chief Minister.
The CBI is making elaborate security arrangements around its headquarters in anticipation of Kejriwal’s appearance. Kejriwal has confirmed that he will appear before the agency as summoned. The final decision on his role in the case will be determined during the filing of the chargesheet, according to CBI officials.