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cbi: Excise case: Arvind Kejriwal says attempts made to frame Sisodia after CBI didn’t name him in first charge sheet

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Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday asserted that attempts were made to frame his deputy Manish Sisodia in the “fake” excise policy scam after his name did not figure in the CBI’s first charge sheet, with the Aam Aadmi Party calling it “Satyamev Jayate” (truth alone triumphs).

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday filed its first charge sheet against arrested businessmen Vijay Nair, Abhishek Boinpally and five more accused, keeping the probe open into the alleged role of others named in the FIR, including Sisodia.

Later in the day, the deputy chief minister demanded that Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena and Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar be sacked, alleging that he has been a “victim of their witch hunt”.

The ruling AAP also asked the BJP to tender an apology to Delhiites and the countrymen for “blatantly lying about the issue” and called Saxena and Kumar the “masterminds” behind the “conspiracy” against the Delhi government.
“Manish’s name is not in the CBI charge sheet. The whole case is fake. Nothing was found in the raids. A total of 800 officers found nothing in the probe for four months. Manish offered hope of a good future to crores of poor children in the country through a revolution in education. I am sorry that a conspiracy was hatched to defame such a person by implicating him in a false case,” Kejriwal said in a tweet in Hindi.

Besides the two arrested businessmen, the CBI has named the head of a television news channel, a Hyderabad-based liquor trader, a Delhi-based liquor distributor, and two excise department officials in the charge sheet.

The seven accused have been named in the charge sheet under IPC section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and provisions of bribery under the Prevention of Corruption Act, officials said.

Sisodia, named in the CBI FIR, does not figure in this charge sheet.

“Further investigation is continuing to probe the role of FIR-named accused and other persons on various allegations, including conspiracies with other licensees, money trails, cartelization and larger conspiracies in the formulation and implementation of the excise policy,” a CBI spokesperson said in a statement on Friday.

Hitting out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Sisodia said the party sent the CBI and the ED, and raided his residence, but never found anything.

AAP chief spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj also lashed out at the saffron party for “gross abuse of legal procedure and investigative agencies for political gains”.

The AAP called it “Satyamev Jayate”, saying all allegations against Sisodia fell flat.

AAP Delhi convener Gopal Rai said the BJP should tender an apology to Delhiites and the countrymen for blatantly lying about the issue.

“Under BJP’s pressure, Sisodia was named as ‘accused no 1’. A 10,000 page charge sheet has been filed in which the name of the first accused is not there. Today it was proved that BJP is not Bharatiya Janata Party but Bharatiya Jhoothi Party. The BJP should apologise to the people of Delhi and India for spreading blatant lies. If the level of politics declines like this, it is a danger for democracy as well,” he said.

The CBI, after registering a case against 15 people in August this year, had carried out searches at various places in the case.

It is alleged the Delhi government’s policy to grant licenses to liquor traders was influenced in favour of certain dealers who had allegedly paid bribes for it, a charge strongly refuted by the ruling Aam Aadmi Party.

Besides Sisodia, who holds the excise portfolio in the Delhi government, the CBI has named the then excise commissioner Arava Gopi Krishna, the then deputy excise commissioner Anand Kumar Tiwari, assistant excise commissioner Pankaj Bhatnagar, nine businessmen and two companies as accused in the case.

AAP leader Atishi also accused L-G Saxena and the chief secretary of being involved in a conspiracy and preparing long reports against Sisodia and forwarding them to the CBI.

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