Sat. May 18th, 2024

Aam Aadmi Party’s Sanjay Singh, who has been arrested in the Delhi liquor policy case, will remain in the custody of the Enforcement Directorate until Friday. Last week, a Delhi Court had granted five-day custody of the probe agency to the Rajya Sabha MP, who has been accused of being a “key conspirator” in the case. According to the ED, a businessman had given Rs 2 crore to Mr. Singh, and this amount is believed to be part of the money trail involved in the case. The agency also claimed that Mr. Singh had close ties with several other accused individuals, including businessman Dinesh Arora, who recently became an approver in the case. Despite denying any wrongdoing, Mr. Singh was arrested on Wednesday following searches at his residence.

This is the second arrest of a senior AAP leader in connection with the alleged irregularities in the liquor policy, with Delhi’s former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia being the first. Mr. Sisodia, who was arrested in February, is still in jail and is currently seeking bail from the Supreme Court. The court has posed tough questions to the ED regarding his case. Mr. Sisodia, who served as the excise commissioner during the formulation of the 2021 liquor policy that was later scrapped, is considered the prime accused in the case and has been referred to as the “kingpin” and “mastermind” by investigating agencies.

The AAP party has criticized Mr. Singh’s arrest, attributing it to the BJP’s “frustration” with the Opposition parties joining forces under the INDIA bloc ahead of the upcoming general elections. Central investigating agencies allege that liquor companies played a role in shaping the 2021 excise policy, which would have resulted in a 12% profit for the firms. They further claim that a liquor lobby known as the “South Group” paid kickbacks for this policy. According to the CBI, six percent of the proposed profit was funneled to public servants through intermediaries.

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