New Delhi (India): The Rouse Avenue Court on Thursday sent Aam Aadmi Party leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh to remand till October 10, 2023, in connection with the now scrapped Delhi excise policy or liquor scam case.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday arrested Sanjay Singh after a day-long questioning by the ED officials at his Delhi residence.
The Special Judge MK Nagpal after noting the lengthy submissions made by ED and Defense, decided to send Sanjay Singh to 5 days ED remand.
During arguments, ED through Advocates Zohaib Hossain and Naveen Kumar Matta stated that searches were conducted yesterday and the statement was also recorded. Around 239 places were searched, and documents were found. ED further submitted that an employee of Dinesh Arora allegedly delivered Rs 2 crores to Sanjay Singh's house on two occasions.
ED while seeking 10 days remand of Sanjay Singh said, "We have to extract digital data, further, he needs to be interrogated with other persons."
Senior Advocate Mohit Mathur appeared for Sanjay Singh and said this case investigation keeps going and will never end. Dinesh Arora who is a star witness was made accused earlier by both agencies and later he turned approver in the case. The statement implicating Sanjay Singh today is of August. He opposed the remand plea of ED and said, that demanding 10 Days is an absurd position for someone who is not involved in the matter at all.
During the hearing, Sanjay Singh in person spoke to the Judge and said, "Sach Ghate ya bade, sach na rahe, Jhoot ki koi intehaan nahi, main itna unknown toh nahi hua ki Amit Arora ko mera naam yaad ni aaya. Dinesh Arora ko bhi Sanjay Singh ka naam yaad ni aaya. Aachank inhone kya kiya ki mera naam yaad aa gaya."
"Main apse agry karta hu ki Agar inke aaropo me ek percent bhi sachayi hai to mujhe sakht se sakht saza di Jaye. Mujhe ek baar bhi summon ni kiya gaya, mere liye alag kanoon?," Singh added.
Sanjay Singh is the third key leader of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) after Satyendra Jain and Manish Sisodia to be arrested in the case.
Sanjay Singh's party colleague and former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia is also involved in the same liquor policy scam. He is currently lodged in jail in connection with the same. The former Delhi Deputy CM and excise minister was first arrested by the CBI on February 26 for his alleged role in the scam.
The federal agency on Wednesday morning undertook a raid at the residence of Sanjay Singh in connection with the now-cancelled liquor excise policy in Delhi. The development followed closely on the heels of the ED's raid on the premises belonging to two of Sanjay Singh's close aides in the same context.
The case connects with claims that Singh and his partners played a part in the Delhi government's decision to give licenses to alcohol shops and merchants in 2020, causing losses to the state exchequer and violating anti-corruption laws.
ED has previously searched a number of locations including the homes and offices of Sanjay Singh's close associate Ajit Tyagi and other contractors and businessmen who allegedly benefited from the policy. In its nearly 270-page supplementary charge sheet, the ED has called Sisodia a key conspirator in the case.
The Delhi liquor scam case or the excise policy case pertains to allegations that the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government's excise policy for 2021-22 allowed cartelisation and favoured certain dealers who had allegedly paid bribes for it, a charge that has been strongly refuted by the AAP.
ED has so far filed five charge sheets in the case, including against Sisodia.
ED, last year filed its first chargesheet in the case. The agency said it has so far undertaken over 200 search operations in this case after filing an FIR after taking cognisance of a CBI case which was registered on the recommendation of the Delhi lieutenant governor.
The CBI inquiry was recommended on the findings of the Delhi chief secretary's report filed in July showing prima facie violations of the GNCTD Act 1991, Transaction of Business Rules (ToBR)-1993, Delhi Excise Act-2009, and Delhi Excise Rules-2010, officials had said.
The ED and the CBI had alleged that irregularities were committed while modifying the Excise Policy, undue favours were extended to licence holders, the licence fee was waived or reduced and the L-1 licence was extended without the competent authority's approval. The beneficiaries diverted "illegal" gains to the accused officials and made false entries in their books of account to evade detection.
As per the allegations, the Excise Department had decided to refund the Earnest Money Deposit of about Rs 30 crore to a successful tenderer against the set rules. Even though there was no enabling provision, a waiver on tendered licence fees was allowed from December 28, 2021, to January 27, 2022, due to COVID-19.
This allegedly caused a loss of Rs 144.36 crore to the exchequer, which has been instituted on a reference from the Union Home Ministry following a recommendation from Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena.