More CBI heat likely for Sisodia, Gahlot too in focus

Edited By: Pathikrit Sen Gupta

Last Updated: March 01, 2023, 01:25 IST

Manish Sisodia being taken to Rouse Avenue court by CBI officials in the excise policy case, in New Delhi, on February 27. (Photo/PTI)

Kailash Gahlot was also part of the Group of Ministers (GoM) that approved the new excise policy

Aam Aadmi Party leader Manish Sisodia resigned as deputy chief minister of Delhi on Tuesday after the Supreme Court refused to intervene in his plea challenging his arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation in the liquor scam case. Now CNN-News18 has learnt that the former education, excise, and home minister of Delhi could face a second FIR by the CBI in the “snooping case” in the next few days. “We are waiting for the communication from L-G Delhi giving us the go-ahead. The FIR can be registered as soon as the official papers in the matter are received,” a senior CBI official told CNN-News 18.

The union home ministry last week approved the CBI request to investigate the “feedback unit” case. The CBI after its preliminary inquiry has alleged that public money was misused by the Delhi government to run an “extra constitutional, extra judicial intelligence agency”. Officials said that a case is made out against Manish Sisodia since he headed the vigilance department which empowered the feedback unit to allegedly spy on central government functionaries.

Agency officials indicated that the FIR in this case could be registered in the next few days. “This seems to be a watertight case. A secret service fund was created misusing public money. Retired intelligence and security officials were hired to snoop when the power to allow this kind of spying doesn’t rest with the vigilance department,” a source said. Officials said statements of at least 17 contractual employees and equipment purchased for alleged snooping would be crucial evidence against Sisodia and other AAP-associated suspects.

Meanwhile, Sisodia’s successor in the Delhi government, Kailash Gahlot, may also soon face CBI heat, say officials.

Gahlot was part of the Group of Ministers (GoM) that approved the new excise policy. The CBI has alleged that the entire policy was framed to cause pecuniary benefits to businessmen who were granted the L1 licence. The agency has also alleged that the note that was put up by Sisodia for consideration of the GoM could have been influenced by the “South Lobby”, or the businessmen from southern India who benefited because of the policy. Satyendar Jain, who is also behind bars and resigned as minister on Tuesday, and Gahlot were part of the GoM.

CBI officials say that the file, which had the deliberations of the GoM and the minutes of the meeting is missing. Even as Sisodia is being questioned about the missing file, the agency could also question the GoM members regarding it.

While Jain and Sisodia are in jail, a probe is on against Gahlot by the CBI in the DTC bus scam case.

The agency is probing allegations of irregularities in the purchase of buses for the DTC when Gahlot was the transport minister.

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