Lieutenant Governor (L-G) Vinai Kumar Saxena Saturday suspended and initiated disciplinary proceedings against former excise commissioner Arava Gopi Krishna (IAS officer) and deputy commissioner Anand Tiwari over their alleged involvement in the corruption in the formulation and implementation of Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22.
Krishna was the excise commissioner when the policy was formulated and implemented on November 17, 2021, and Anand Tiwari was the deputy commissioner to Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.
Besides them, the L-G also suspended and ordered major disciplinary proceedings against 2 other ad-hoc DANICS officers, the then Deputy Commissioners and 9 other officials of the excise department. Overall, 11 officers from the excise department have been suspended.
The officials who have been suspended are Assistant Commissioner Pankaj Bhatnagar, Narinder Singh, Neeraj Gupta, Section Officer Kuljeet Singh, Subhash Ranjan and Suman and Dealing Hand Satya Brat Bhargav, Sachin Solanki and Gaurav Mann.
“The LG has taken this decision in view of the serious lapses on part of the officers concerned, including irregularities in finalizing the tender and extending post-tender benefits to select vendors, as brought out by the Directorate of Vigilance (DoV) in its report after inquiry,” sources in the L-G’s office said.
The action against the senior officers came following an enquiry report by the Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar and the vigilance department. The Chief Secretary, on July 8, had submitted a report to the L-G and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal alleging corruption and violations of ToBR Rule 57. The report also alleged major procedural lapses and the excise department giving undue benefits on the directions of Excise Minister Manish Sisodia, who is also under the lens of the CBI and Delhi Police’s EOW.
Krishna was transferred after the excise department furnished its reply to the Chief Secretary on the seven questions he had raised regarding the excise policy.
Following this report, the L-G, in July last week, directed Kumar to submit a detailed report on the role of the officers and civil servants in the illegal formulation and implementation of the policy.
Sources said that the officers are also under the scanner as they did not inform the concerned authority despite knowing that “illegal activities were going on and changes were being made by Sisodia on behalf of the cabinet without the approval of L-G”.