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Excise policy case: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal scheduled to appear before ED today. Will he be arrested?

Six months after he was questioned for nearly nine hours by the CBI in the alleged excise policy case, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is scheduled to appear before the Enforcement Directorate in a related case on Thursday.

The ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) remained tight-lipped about whether the chief minister will appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) or not.

Former deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia was arrested by the CBI in the case in February this year. The ED arrested Sisodia in a money laundering case stemming from the CBI FIR on March 9 after questioning him in Tihar jail.

His bail plea was rejected by the Supreme Court earlier this week.

After his questioning by the CBI in April in the alleged liquor scam, during which he was asked about 56 questions, Kejriwal had termed the entire case “fabricated” and an attempt to finish the AAP.

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The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate are probing the Delhi government’s now-scrapped excise policy for 2021-22 that allegedly favored certain liquor dealers, an allegation that the AAP has strongly denied.

Based on a report of the chief secretary of the Delhi government, Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena recommended a CBI probe in July last year into alleged irregularities in the formulation and implementation of the policy.

The report cited various alleged irregularities including a waiver of Rs 144 crore to the retail licensees under the policy in the name of COVID-19-impacted sales and a refund of Rs 30 crore to a successful bidder for the airport zone who failed to obtain a no objection certificate for opening liquor stores there, officials said.

Another allegation was that the commission of wholesale licensees was raised from five percent to 12 percent in an instance of “quid pro quo”, they added.

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