A day after the CBI named 15 people, including Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, in its FIR filed in connection with the now scrapped Delhi excise policy, Delhi Police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW) is likely to close its “preliminary enquiry” in the case, it is learnt.
It had initiated the inquiry after receiving a complaint alleging illegal distribution of zonal liquor licences to manufacturing companies and blacklisted firms in violation of terms and conditions of the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22. Sources said that after the EOW came to know of the CBI FIR, it discussed closing the enquiry.
The EOW had received a complaint from one Anil Chaudhary in May about alleged procedural lapses and irregularities in the excise policy. “Chaudhary filed a complaint with the former Delhi Police Commissioner, who directed an enquiry… before registering an FIR,” sources said.
Sources said the EOW sent notices to the excise department and liquor traders in May. In one of the notices issued on July 13, which the investigation officer sent to the assistant commissioner of excise on July 12, details such as date of formulation of excise policy-2021-22; date of floating of tenders for grant of liquor licence; date of grant of liquor licence; applications forms of all successful for grant of liquor licence; procedure followed to check monopolies and cartels of successful applicants granted liquor licence; and whether any SOP was prepared to check monopolies and cartels of successful applicants granted liquor licence, was sought.
“In a reply dated June 21, supplied by the excise department to EOW, it has been stated that SOP to rule out monopolies and cartels by successful companies was as per tender document dated 28.06.21 and 13.08.21. Please mention specifically relevant clause of these documents and who was responsible to implement said SOP (and) whether the Delhi excise department has issued any show cause notice for cancellation of licence granted to any applicant of cancelled licence under New Delhi Excise policy 21-22,” said the notice.
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During the enquiry, the EOW collected digital video recordings (DVRs) of excise department meetings held over 15 days last month, including one that reportedly went on till 5 am on the night of July 11-12. It also wrote to all 32 zonal vends for documents on award of licences and their Tax Identification Number (TIN) and Director Identification Number (DIN) number, an officer said.