No evidence of kickbacks: AAP Minister Atishi’s “big revelation” in Delhi liquor scam
NEW DELHI: Soon after the Aam Aadmi Party’s “big revelation” from a court order on the alleged liquor policy scam in Delhi, in which it claimed there was no scam, the Bharatiya Janata Party mocked the ruling party with what a judge had previously said about former Delhi minister Manish Sisodia while denying him bail in the case.
“If you are so fond of reading the court’s references, and have the habit of giving yourself certificates of honesty, then read what the court said about @msisodia and tell it to the public,” BJP Delhi Spokesperson Harish Khurana tweeted in Hindi, along with a video of him reading Delhi’s Rouse Avenue court’s observation about the former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister, who is a prime accused in the corruption case registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in relation to the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy.
Mr Sisodia had “played the most important and vital role” in the criminal conspiracy and “had been deeply involved in the formulation as well as the implementation of the said policy to ensure achievement of objectives of the said (criminal) conspiracy”, the court had said last month, adding that “..as per allegations made by the prosecution and the evidence collected in support thereof so far” Mr Sisodia “can prima facie be held to be the architect of the said criminal conspiracy”.
Harish Khurana said if Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal believes in the court, “he’s tongue-tied after the court order”. “If they’ll convict or acquit, that the court itself will say. Stop giving yourself certificates of honesty,” Mr Khurana said, calling Mr Kejriwal the “real kingpin” who will “soon be in jail”. Earlier today, AAP leader Atishi had said a court order from yesterday observed there was no evidence of ₹ 100 crore in kickbacks, which the BJP has alleged, or even the ₹ 30 crore supposedly routed to Goa by AAP for Assembly elections that the Enforcement Directorate mentioned in its chargesheet, adding that the CBI and ED have no new evidence in the case. The probe agencies should apologies, she said.
“For the last 6 months, ED and CBI officials are sitting in Goa and have interrogated and raided all the vendors. Even after six months of raids, those who had alleged a bribe of ₹ 100 crore have said in front of the court that the Aam Aadmi Party spent ₹ 19 lakh rupees in cash in the Goa elections. ED has proved that Aam Aadmi Party is the most honest party in the country. The Aam Aadmi Party contested the elections in Goa and spent only ₹ 19 lakh in cash and the rest in cheques,” Atishi said. Earlier this month, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a supplementary chargesheet apprised the Delhi Court that proceeds of a crime worth ₹ 622 crore were generated due to the activities of the accused as Excise Minister.
Manish Sisodia’s bail is listed in the high court on May 11.
Mr Sisodia was arrested by the ED in this case on March 9 after hours of questioning at Tihar Jail. Earlier, he was arrested by the CBI on February 26. He is the 29th accused arrested in this case. The CBI has already filed the charge sheet in the matter. Following a court’s decision to grant bail to two accused in the excise policy case, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) demanded that the BJP tender an apology for making “false” allegations against the party. At a press conference, AAP senior leader and Cabinet minister Atishi claimed that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has leveled two allegations that Rs 100 crore in kickbacks were received from liquor businessmen and used in Goa elections.
“Yesterday, the Rouse Avenue court granted bail to Rajesh Joshi and Gautam Malhotra. The court order said no evidence had been kept forth by the ED showing any cash payment for bribe or kickbacks. The order said the ED attached some vague statements by witnesses,” she added. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asserted that the entire case is “bogus” and only meant to malign his party. “Now even Court has said that there is no material evidence of any kickback or money laundering.
We have been saying right from beginning that entire liquor scam is bogus and meant only to malign AAP,” he said in a tweet. The ED has claimed that Joshi, a vendor, ensured that Rs 30 crore reached Goa for elections, but the order noted there was “no independent evidence to corroborate this fact”. “This order demonstrates that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is the most trustworthy party. The BJP has been screaming that there is a scam. Will they now apologies and accept that there was no scam?” she asked.
(Bureau Report with Media Inputs).