The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday filed a supplementary charge sheet against former Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia and three others in the excise policy scam case, officials said.
Special Judge M K Nagpal fixed May 12 for considering the charge sheet after the CBI submitted that the prosecution sanction against Sisodia has already been procured from competent authorities.
The CBI had arrested Sisodia on February 26 and it filed the charge sheet on the 58th day which may deny him the chance of getting default bail.
In a case of corruption, the investigation agency must file charge sheet against an accused within 60 days of arrest, else the person becomes eligible for default bail.
The agency has also named Hyderabad-based CA Butchi Babu Gorantla, liquor trader Amandeep Singh Dhall and private person Arjun Pandey in the charge sheet.
Out of the four accused, Sisodia and Dhall are currently in judicial custody.
While Gorantla was granted bail in the matter on March 6, Pandey has not been arrested.
The CBI has invoked Indian Penal Code 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and added new IPC sections 201 (destruction of evidence) and 420 (cheating) which were not part of the FIR. It has also invoked provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act against the accused.
The CBI probe so far shows that Sisodia was heading the GoM for formulating the excise policy and he was the chief architect of the conspiracy to tweak and manipulate the formulation and implementation of the excise policy under the influence of South Group, officials said.
The tweaking was allegedly done to facilitate monopolisation of wholesale and retail liquor trade for the suspects of 'South Group', a group of businessmen and politicians based in Hyderabad, for taking six per cent of the 12 per cent 'windfall profit margin' for wholesalers, provided in the policy, in return for kickbacks, the agency has alleged.
The charges of corruption and irregularities in the formulation and implementation of the policy have been strongly refuted by the Aam Admi Party and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
It has alleged whole sale profit margin was increased from five per cent to 12 per cent without any cogent reason of justification.
In doing so, the recommendation of expert committee headed by Ravi Dhawan was disregarded as they did not favour the South Group, the agency said.
The agency alleged that it has kept the probe the open into allegations that one of the major player Mahadev Liquor was pressurised to appoint wholesalers linked to South Group.
Recently, while rejecting the bail petition of Sisodia, special judge Nagpal had noted that the then deputy chief minister played the 'most important and vital role in the above criminal conspiracy' and he had been deeply involved in formulation as well as implementation of the said policy to ensure achievement of objectives of the said conspiracy.
'The payment of advance kickbacks of around Rs. 90-100 crore was meant for him and his other colleagues in the GNCTD and Rs 20-30 crores out of the above are found to have been routed through the co-accused Vijay Nair, Abhishek Boinpally and approver Dinesh Arora and in turn, certain provisions of the excise policy were permitted to be tweaked and manipulated by the applicant to protect and preserve the interests of South liquor lobby and to ensure repayment of the kickbacks to the said lobby,' the judge said referring to the CBI probe.
The court had said that they clearly showed that Sisodia through co-accused Nair was in contact with the south lobby and formulation of a favourable policy for them to achieve monopoly in sale of certain liquor brands of 'favoured manufacturers'.
'And it was permitted to be done against very objectives of the policy. Thus, as per allegations made by prosecution and the evidence collected in support thereof so far, the applicant can prima facie be held to be architect of the said criminal conspiracy,' it had said in the 34-page-long order on the bail plea.
'... But keeping in view his conduct as reflected from destruction or non-production of his previous mobile phones... and also the apparent role played by him in not producing or missing of the file of one cabinet note... There may be serious apprehensions of destruction or tampering of some further evidence and even of influencing some prime witnesses of this case by him or at his instance, in case he is released on bail by the court,' the court had said.
It is alleged that the Delhi government's excise policy for 2021-22 to grant licences to liquor traders favoured certain dealers who had allegedly paid bribes for it, a charge strongly refuted by the Aam Aadmi Party.
The policy was later scrapped.
"It was further alleged that irregularities were committed, including modifications in the excise policy, extending undue favours to the licensees, waiver/reduction in licence fee, the extension of L-1 license without approval etc.
"It was also alleged that illegal gains on the count of these acts were diverted to concerned public servants by private parties by making false entries in their books of accounts," a CBI spokesperson had said after the FIR was filed on August 17 last year.