New Delhi: In view of alleged lapses in the implementation of the Excise Policy 2021-22, Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena on Saturday suspended 11 officials, including then excise commissioner Arava Gopi Krishna and deputy excise commissioner Anand Kumar Tiwari, news agency PTI reported. The development came minutes after Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia accused former lieutenant governor Anil Baijal of changing his stand over opening liquor vends in unauthorised areas and said that the government incurred massive loss for it.
According to the report, three ad-hoc DANICS officers and six officials of the excise department of the Delhi government have also been suspended, the sources at the LG office said.
As per the sources, the Lieutenant Governor has taken the decision in view of the “serious lapses on the part of the officers concerned” in the implementation of the liquor policy. The lapses include “irregularities in finalising the tender and extending post-tender benefits” to select vendors, the officials said, adding that the action was taken by Saxena on the basis of an inquiry report filed by the Directorate of Vigilance (DoV).
It is to be noted that a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe has also been recommended by the LG into the alleged violation of rules and procedural lapses in the implementation of the Excise Policy.
Notably, under the new excise policy, private firms were issued retail licences for 849 liquor vends across the city divided into 32 zones.
However, this policy has been withdrawn by the Aam Aadmi Party government, led by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Sisodia accuses ex-Delhi LG of changing stance on liquor shops
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Saturday accused former lieutenant governor Anil Baijal of changing his stand over opening liquor vends in unauthorised areas.
Speaking at a press conference, Sisodia said he has sent details of the matter to CBI and said there should be a probe.
“Under the new excise policy, 849 shops were to be opened across Delhi, including in unauthorised areas. The LG did not object to the proposal and approved it,” PTI quoted Sisodia as saying.
However, on November 15 last year, the LG changed his stand and introduced a condition that permission from the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) would be needed for opening liquor shops in unauthorised areas, Sisodia said.
“As a result of this change of stand by the LG, the shops could not be opened in unauthorised areas, leading to a loss of revenue of thousands of crores to the government. On the other hand, the shops that opened witnessed a huge income,” he added.
However, no immediate reaction was available from Baijal.