All You Need to Know About the Delhi Liquor Policy Case: Political Leaders Arrested by ED - List So Far

Former Deputy Chief Minister and AAP leader, Manish Sisodia, was the first to be arrested by the ED in the Delhi Excise Policy Case. He was accused of manipulating the policy to benefit license holders and was arrested in February 2023.
Manish Sisodia and Arvind Kejriwal
Manish Sisodia and Arvind Kejriwal

New Delhi- In the ongoing investigation into the Delhi Excise Policy Case, several prominent political figures have been apprehended by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

The most recent arrest in the case is that of AAP leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. He was detained by the ED on March 21st night in relation to the money laundering allegations linked to the excise policy.

Here's a list of the key leaders who have faced arrests:

Kavitha Kalvakuntla: Daughter of former Telangana CM K Chandrashekar Rao, Kavitha was arrested on March 15th by the ED for her purported involvement in the Delhi excise policy case. She is alleged to have played a significant role and profited from the policy's implementation during 2021-22.

Sanjay Singh: AAP leader and Rajya Sabha MP, Sanjay Singh, was taken into custody in October 2023 in connection with the excise policy case. It is claimed that Singh facilitated communication between AAP leaders and restaurant owners, contributing to fundraising efforts for the party.

Manish Sisodia: Former Deputy Chief Minister and AAP leader, Manish Sisodia, was the first to be arrested by the ED in the Delhi Excise Policy Case. He was accused of manipulating the policy to benefit license holders and was arrested in February 2023.

Understanding Delhi's Liquor Policy

In a significant move on November 17, 2021, the Delhi government introduced a revamped liquor policy across the state, delineating 32 zones within the capital. Each zone was slated to accommodate a maximum of 27 liquor shops, totaling 849 establishments. This policy marked a notable transition as all liquor shops were privatized, contrasting with the previous scenario where 60% were government-owned and 40% private. The government anticipated a substantial revenue increase of Rs 3,500 crore with this transition. However, the policy shift has since faced challenges.

Notably, the license fees saw a manifold increase under the new policy. The L-1 license, previously priced at Rs 25 lakh for contractors, surged to Rs 5 crore post-implementation. Similar significant fee hikes were observed across other license categories. Despite these changes, the total number of liquor shops in Delhi remained at 850, as stipulated in the new policy.

Furthermore, the updated policy allowed for home delivery of liquor and extended shop operating hours until 3 am. Licensees were granted the flexibility to offer unlimited discounts on liquor sales. However, these revisions have not been without controversy, underscoring the complexities and challenges associated with alcohol regulation in the capital.

In July 2022, less than a year after the implementation of the new liquor policy, Delhi's Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar raised concerns about policy violations. He reported these violations to Lieutenant Governor (L-G) Vinai Kumar Saxena, prompting a recommendation for a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The submitted report alleged financial losses to the exchequer totaling more than Rs 580 crore.

Timeline of the Delhi Liquor Policy Case

  • 22 March 2021: Deputy CM Manish Sisodia announces the new liquor policy aimed at ending mafia rule and boosting government revenue.

  • 17 November 2021:Delhi government implements the new liquor policy, privatizing all liquor shops and dividing Delhi into 32 zones with 27 shops in each zone.

  • 8 July 2022: Delhi Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar raises concerns of irregularities in the new policy and submits a report to LG VK Saxena, accusing Manish Sisodia of favoring liquor traders.

  • 28 July 2022: Amid increasing controversy, Delhi government cancels the new liquor policy and reinstates the old one.

  • 17 August 2022: CBI registers a case based on the Chief Secretary's report, investigating allegations of corruption against Manish Sisodia, three retired officials, nine businessmen, and two companies.

  • 22 August 2022: Enforcement Directorate registers a case under the Money Laundering Act related to the liquor policy case.

  • 12 September 2022: AAP's communications chief Vijay Nair arrested by CBI.

  • 26 February 2023: Manish Sisodia arrested by CBI and later by ED, marking the first major arrest in the case.

  • 4 October 2023: AAP leader Sanjay Singh arrested by the Enforcement Directorate.

  • 2 November 2023: ED issues first summons to Arvind Kejriwal in the liquor policy case.

  • 21 December 2023: Second summons issued to Kejriwal, who fails to appear.

  • 3 January 2024: Third summons issued to Arvind Kejriwal.

  • 17 January 2024: Fourth summons issued to Arvind Kejriwal.

  • 2 February 2024: Fifth summons sent to Kejriwal.

  • 22 February 2024: Sixth summons sent to Kejriwal.

  • 26 February 2024: Seventh summons received by Arvind Kejriwal.

  • 27 February 2024: Eighth summons issued to Kejriwal.

  • 16 March 2024: Bharat Rashtra Samiti leader K Kavita detained by the Enforcement Directorate.

  • 17 March 2024: Ninth summons sent to Arvind Kejriwal.

  • 21 March 2024: Arvind Kejriwal arrested by the Enforcement Directorate after extensive interrogation.

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