Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister, Delhi
Speaking at the pre-trial hearing of former Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, ED lawyer Zoheb Hussain said the change in excise policy was made to benefit a group from South India. All changes have been made to enable this group. The policy is designed to ensure that a few private entities make huge profits.
Instead, a hefty bribe was accepted. More than 290 crores in criminal revenue was generated in the liquor scam, according to the ED. The ED alleged that Rs 100 crore was received as a bribe from the ‘South Group’ of the liquor cartel and that Indospirits, an accused company in the case, made a profit of Rs 192.8 crore which was part of the proceeds of crime.
Hussain also tore up Sisodia’s argument that the policy changes were made in response to public feedback. While the Excise Department has confirmed that there was no suggestion from the public or stakeholders to set the profit margin at 12 percent. Hussain also referenced Sisodia’s alleged role in getting the L1 license from a company called Indospirits. The deputy prime minister broke legal provisions and reported a policy that has significant financial consequences.
Wholesale purchasing, storage and delivery work assigned to private companies
The ED alleged that Sisodia had changed excise policy by transferring the bulk purchase, storage and delivery of liquor from manufacturers to private traders. While the expert committee had advised to keep the wholesale business with a government agency. Because of this, private entities rather than the government benefited and the Treasury suffered huge losses. To make matters worse, the government lost control of the liquor supply chain in Delhi, which inflicted huge taxes on the government.