AAP’s Sanjay Singh Sends Legal Notice To ED Demands Apology

Aam Aadmi Party leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh has demanded that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) issue a public apology to him within 48 hours.

The MP has sent a legal notice to ED for tarnishing his public image.
The notice was sent on the MP’s behalf by Advocate Maninderjit Singh Bedi.

The notice addressed to Enforcement Directorate’s Director Sanjay Kumar Mishra and Additional Director Jogender, said, “The officials have knowingly and intentionally made certain untrue, defamatory, and incriminating statements against the MP in the Delhi Excise Policy prosecution complaint.”

The notice further points out that, “The ED’s associates, agents and employees have attempted to tarnish and mutilate the AAP leader’s public image and have attempted to otherwise popularise a perverse, false, motivated, wild, malicious and baseless campaign against his alleged involvement in Delhi Excise Policy.”

It further reads, “In conspiracy to defame and affect the reputation of Sanjay Singh, the ED has deliberately and maliciously defamed him by imputing his involvement in some Liquor Policy on the basis of an alleged statement dated October 1, 2022, recorded under Section 50 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act of Dinesh Arora.”

While also categorically denying the allegations, the notice said, “The allegations are completely baseless, malicious, and utter falsehood. It was portrayed by ED that the MP is involved in the alleged matter, which is false and derogatory.”

“The name of Sanjay Singh was mentioned by ED out of nowhere and without any basis, by making false statements in Judicial proceedings where ED are obligated to make only truthful assertions. The said false and derogatory statements have been made with the clear intention to defame the MP and to adversely affect his reputation and subject him to ridicule and social hatred.”

“The alleged statement of Dinesh Arora as recorded by ED has been mischaracterized and misquoted by ED in the complaint for ulterior purposes. The ED intentionally added the name of Sanjay without any basis with the mala-fide intent to cause disrepute to him. Towards this end, the ED has further circulated and caused to be published the complaint and specifically the portion pertaining to my client,” the notice reads further.

The notice calls upon the ED to immediately issue an open and public apology within 48 hours of receipt of the notice, for the mental agony and harassment faced by the MP.

“Please note that ED is severely liable for a such misdeed done with malicious intent. If you fail to comply with the above within 48 hours of the date of receipt of this notice, I have instructions to initiate appropriate civil and criminal proceedings against you before the competent court, and in that event, you shall be fully responsible for the same and related cost and consequences,” the notice said.

Reacting to the issue, Sanjay Singh said, “It is highly regrettable that an agency like the ED, which is supposed to be impartial, has resorted to such baseless allegations against me. I will not tolerate this kind of character assassination, and I have decided to take legal action against the officials responsible.” (ANI)

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Delhi Excise Policy: Sisodia Denied Bail

The Rouse Avenue Court on Friday dismissed the bail plea of former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, in Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) case pertaining to alleged irregularities in the framing and implementation of the excise policy of the Union Teritorry government.

Special Judge MK Nagpal dismissed the bail plea moved by Manish Sisodia. He is presently in judicial custody and scheduled to be produced before the court on April 3, 2023.
The court last week reserved the order on bail plea after the counsel representing the CBI submitted brief written submissions and judgements concerned, as directed by the court on the last date of the hearing. The CBI also submitted case dairy detail and several statements of witnesses in the matter.

Sisodia, in his bail petition in a trial court stated that no fruitful purpose would be served to keep him in custody as all the recoveries in the case have already been made.

Sisodia also stated that he joined the investigation as and when called for by the CBI. The other accused persons arrested in this case have already been granted bail, Sisodia noted further, adding that he held the important constitutional post of deputy CM of Delhi and has deep roots in the society.

However, Sisodia later tendered his resignation as deputy CM in light of his arrest in the liquor policy case.

The CBI, represented by advocate DP Singh, opposed Sisodia’s bail plea stating, “If he is granted bail this will scuttle and compromise our investigation as the influence and interference are writ large,” CBI said.

The agency further claimed that Sisodia said he destroyed phones because he wanted to upgrade but nothing of the kind happened. “According to us, he did this to destroy the chat. He (Manish Sisodia) might not be at a flight risk, but he is a definite risk who will destroy evidence, this cannot be ignored,” CBI added, opposing Sisodia’s bail plea.

The CBI also submitted that between March 14-17, 2021, the South Group was residing in Oberoi, adding that they prepared a note and took a printout.

“They got 36 pages of photocopies. There were meetings and a printout was made. We have evidence to show that clauses were given and a report was prepared,” the CBI stated.

Earlier, the Rouse Avenue Court, while sending Sisodia to CBI remand, directed that the interrogation of the accused during the remand period shall be conducted at some place having CCTV coverage, in accordance with guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court and the said footage shall be preserved by the CBI.

Sisodia was arrested by CBI and ED in an ongoing investigation of a case related to alleged irregularities in the framing and implementation of the excise policy of Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi.

Earlier, the trial court observed that the accused had joined the investigation of this case on two earlier occasions, but he had failed to provide satisfactory answers to most of the questions put to him during his examination and interrogation, thus, failing to legitimately explain the incriminating evidence which allegedly surfaced against him during the investigation. (ANI)

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AAP ka Impression

AAP ka Impression

For one born of an anti-graft movement that captured the nation’s imagination ten years ago, corruption charges are why the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is facing its worst moment. Manish Sisodia, its virtual Number 2, resigned as Delhi’s deputy chief minister when put behind bars. Critics ask whether he could have acted without a nod from his chief, Arvind Kejriwal.

The duo’s liquor marketing briefly made the National Capital a boozer’s paradise when it emboldened some private liquor vendors to introduce buy-one-get-one-free offers. The Delhi Government earned about ₹8,917 crore through bidding against a reserve price of ₹7,041 crore and ₹768 crore in the first month. But it was withdrawn within eight months amid allegations of corruption and favouritism in license granting.

Investigations are on and even the legality of Sisodia’s arrest is being questioned. Judicial scrutiny is on the cards that, under prolonged media glare, will see AAP’s further spanking. Until its outcome is known, one should not prejudge it.

But politics is different. Unsurprisingly, both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), disrupted by the newbie’s rise have screamed ‘excise scam’. The Congress blames AAP’s forerunner, the “India Against Corruption” movement for its downfall and its Delhi debacle. Ajay Maken calls it an “open and shut case”.

Swarajya editor R Jagannathan, known for his pro-BJP stance has, however, cautioned against it. He points, with justification, to the rot in the system, how and why it has landed into money swamping all political activity and hence, governance. No money, no vote, no prospects of power. This applies to all, just all, players – no exceptions.

Home to the nation’s capital, Delhi has been a unique Centre-dominated half-state. In ruling it, both the Congress and the BJP resented the Centre breathing down their necks. But in recent years, Delhi’s political discourse has taken a toxic “pehley-aap” mode, literally. Each Lt. Governor has behaved as the Centre’s ‘Laat Sahab’, perennially confronting the elected representatives. Taking the Centre-state tussle to the Supreme Court has not helped. The apex court has to intervene even to get Delhi’s civic bodies to function.

ALSO READ: Who Benefitted From Delhi Booze Policy Flipflop

Add to these – a key part of the problem – the role of the Centre-governed Delhi Police. Count the strictures it has earned from the state judiciary and higher courts, particularly in the investigations and trials of the February 2020 violence in North Delhi. Incidentally, AAP legislator Amanullah was acquitted by a court on the day Sisodia was arrested.

That, plus serious doubts over the Centre’s use of various investigative and enforcement agencies. But then, Delhi is not alone. Most opposition-ruled states have proactive, even combative central government representatives. They could knock on any door. One hears of ‘silence’ observed by some prominent opposition leaders, ostensibly on this score.

Politically, AAP has been a significant disrupter as shown by its two landslide wins in Delhi, also in its civic bodies, and in Punjab last year. It has sought to spread its wings to other states in its bid to become a national party, opening accounts in Goa and Gujarat.

Complexities abound in the BJP-AAP relationship. One reason for AAP’s success is that Kejriwal understands the Modi pulse well. He attracts the charge of being BJP’s B team when he tries to climb the Hindutva platform. But then, Congress, too, engages in projecting Rahul Gandhi as a ‘janeudhari’ Brahmin. With Congress, AAP’s relationship is simply hostile in the way it has undercut its support base. The Congress, too, has kept the AAP out of the opposition unity moves it has initiated.

Both Congress and AAP were wary of taking a clear stand on the farmers’ agitation and North Delhi’s violence targeting the Muslims. This underscores the fact that BJP determines the agenda for its opponents.

Besides running Delhi with its hands tied, Punjab, the sensitive border is witnessing the return of separatist forces. Not just political, this extends to national security and external threat perceptions. AAP cannot afford to err in its governance tasks.

The political challenge to AAP is heightened with assembly elections in some states where it seeks to expand, and the general elections just a year away. Kejriwal was in Karnataka for the election campaign while the crisis brewed in Delhi. Contesting and winning elections, after all, has become the core of the political game in the country. AAP cannot be different.

Its emergence is the story of the last decade – of the 2010s – that engulfed many countries where mass movements captured the public imagination. Many of them have sadly lapsed into seeing personality cults built on aggressive ‘nationalism’. This trend shows no sign of ebbing and feeds the current global political discourse.

Kejriwal has made a difference by enforcing a generational change and enrolling young professionals who had practically no role in the political discourse unless they chose politics as their full-time profession. AAP has so far retained the support of the young among the urban middle class in a country that is getting fast urbanized.

The rise of AAP or the rot in it – depending upon how one views it, whether as a middle-class movement or just another political party in pursuit of power – was inevitable, even if considered undesirable. I learnt of its internal churning and its developing differences, of all the places, in the toilet in a mall.

I spotted one of its leading lights, legal luminary Shanti Bhushan, coming to see a film. After a brief reminder of my having interviewed him, I popped the AAP question. He spoke about it long before the party took a formal shape, to the chagrin of many in the intelligentsia, seeking change without being in politics.

Mass movements need messiahs, and Anna Hazare, with due respect, is no Vinoba Bhave. Unwittingly, Hazare became part of a political churning that he either couldn’t help or didn’t mind. Little wonder, his occasional fulminations carry no weight and little media attention.

Nobody likes corruption, but few shun it when the push comes to serve and fewer understand its dynamics. A decade after the anti-graft movement and the clamour for an ombudsman who would expose it and punish the guilty, it cannot be said that corruption has been reduced in India, let alone eliminated. Only, its pursuit is selective, depending upon who wields power — political power, not moral. Given human nature, it is forever on the man’s to-do list, an ideal to be pursued.

AAP succeeded in Delhi and Punjab because it was perceived as a movement against traditional politics. It was a revolt against an establishment ruined by corruption, crime, conspiracy, and money and muscle power. It is a very difficult path. It walks it or joins the rest. We shall see.

The writer can be reached at mahendraved07@gmail.com

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sambit patra

Delhi Excise Policy Case: Sisodia Changed His Mobile Phone 4 Times A Day

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday alleged that Manish Sisodia is “completely involved” in the alleged irregularities in the Delhi excise policy case and alleged the Delhi Deputy Chief Minister changed four mobile handsets in one day and 14 handsets in two three months after Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) lodged an FIR against him. The BJP alleged that Sisodia did so with the aim to destroy digital evidence.

Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters here, the BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra said, “A few days ago, Arvind Kejriwal said that Manish Sisodia has a clean chit. And the scam that has taken place in the excise policy is not a scam because CBI and ED had given clean chit to Manish Sisodia. There is no charge sheet against Sisodia.”
Patra alleged that Sisodia has a big role in Delhi’s excise policy. “He is not just neck deep but he is completely involved in the liquor scam in Delhi,” the BJP leader said.

During the press conference, Patra presented a remand note which he claimed was submitted by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to a Delhi court in which Patra said it is stated that an FIR dated August 17, 2022, was registered by CBI against Manish Sisodia

“A person named Amit Arora had taken and given money in the case. Amit Arora was arrested by the ED and while taking its custody the ED presented these documents in Court. The 32-page remand note shows that the investigation is going on against Manish Sisodia in the excise police scam case. The allegations against him are serious. The ED and CBI had charge-sheeted those arrested. They are preparing full-proof documents on Manish Sisodia. They all have a connection with Manish Sisodia.

“As per the document, an FIR dated August 17, 2022, was registered by CBI against Manish Sisodia. The Office Memo (OM) disclosed that Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, the then Excise Commissioner Arava Gopi Krishna and others were instrumental in giving orders to people in excise policy benefiting few by giving them an undue advantage,” said the BJP leader.

He further alleged that Sisodia might have consulted people to destroy digital evidence in the case.

“Manish Sisodia changed four mobile handsets in one day and 14 handsets in two three months after CBI’s FIR against him. He might have consulted Delhi CM Kejriwal, AAP leader Vijay Nair, liquor scam accused Amit Arora and Sunny Marwah to destroy digital evidence,” the BJP national spokesperson said.

Patra alleged “large-scale destruction of digital evidence” was done by the accused including the ex-excise minister of Delhi Sisodia and that 170 mobile phones were destroyed by the 36 accused in the alleged Delhi liquor scam

The Delhi LG had recommended a CBI inquiry into the findings of the Delhi chief secretary’s report filed in July showing prima facie violations of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) Act 1991, Transaction of Business Rules (ToBR)-1993, Delhi Excise Act-2009, and Delhi Excise Rules-2010, officials had said.

In October, the ED had raided nearly three dozen locations in Delhi and Punjab following the arrest of Sameer Mahendru, Managing Director of Delhi’s Jor Bagh-based liquor distributor Indospirit Group, in the case.

The Excise Department had decided to refund the Earnest Money Deposit of about Rs 30 crore to a successful tenderer against the set rules. Even though there was no enabling provision, a waiver on tendered license fees was allowed from December 28, 2021, to January 27, 2022, due to COVID-19.

This allegedly caused a loss of Rs 144.36 crore to the exchequer, which has been instituted on a reference from the Union Home Ministry following a recommendation from Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena. (ANI)

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Former AAP Leader speaks on Delhi Liquor Scam

AAP is Awash With Corruption, Liquor Scam Will Cost it Dearly

Manoj Nagpal, a former leader of Aam Aadmi Party, says only those who toe the party line blindly can prosper in the party

I joined Aam Aadmi Party in 2020 after a political vacation of six years. Before that I had worked for the BJP Youth wing until 2014. I did not feel comfortable in the BJP due to factionalism and favouritism, so I decided to join the party that emerged from the anti-corruption movement.

But soon I realised that the AAP is also awash with corruption. I resigned from each and every post on August 20th when the Deputy CM Manish Sisodia’s house was raided by CBI on allegations of his involvement in the liquor scam.

I would have resigned much earlier when my protest against allotment of license to a liquor vendor in Beriwala Bag, Subhash Nagar in April 2022 went unheard. Instead I was lured and intimidated. As per the new excise policy, the liquor vendor in my ward was ineligible for license because the shop was located within 100 meters of a temple.

When I first objected, I was told by the party that the distance is 102 meters. A coaching institute also operated nearby. People were scared of the vendor. You cannot change the sentiment just with a difference of two meters. It was illegal as it violated the policy.

We sat on a dharna in front of the liquor shop in April 2022. I had the support of women from well to do families. AAP leaders accused me of bribing the demonstrators. I met with the CM and Deputy CM but it seemed every one of them was in a hurry to get the liquor shop running. Then I moved to the High Court. It accepted my petition and ordered the administration to do a formal measurement of distance between the temple and liquor vend.

ALSO READ: The Competition To Get Delhi Drunk

I had already got it done officially and it came out to be 92 meters. Now it is to be done on court’s order. The next date of hearing is September 15th in this case. Before that the liquor scam got exposed. I could not resist the inner voice and tendered my resignation on the very same day Sisodia was raided.

This is not the lone case. You can go out and see where liquor license have been given. There are many more cases of violation. The government knew that finally Manish Sisodia will be booked for the flawed excise policy. Even Arvind Kejriwal knew this. That is why nothing was recovered from Sisodia’s house. They had managed everything in advance. The probe order from L-G was based upon a report by the Chief Secretary. This report was made under the CM’s supervision. He is a smart man. He never leaves anyone who comes in his way. Sisodia is just the next one in line who may be arrested sooner or later. But that would not change the ways of AAP leadership.

Being in the party and speaking up against it is very difficult because the leadership is expert in launching smear campaign against those who cross the party line. Yahan parikrama karne wale ki chalti hai, parakram karne wale ki nahin (Those who show spine will not be allowed to work in AAP). Common workers, volunteers and slum dwellers, who are AAP’s core voters, all are now fed up with the leadership. They are voiceless and choiceless.

This liquor scam will cost AAP in upcoming assembly elections due the internal unrest. We have seen the complete state unit of AAP switching over to BJP. In Gujarat the media was speculating around fifteen seats for AAP but now they have come to just a couple of seats.

As told to Abhishek Srivastava

Disclaimer: The views expressed by the narrator are his own. LokMarg does not subscribe to any person or party’s views expressed here. This webzine only lends a platform to voices from all walks of society

Competition to Get Delhi Drunk and Apna Rishi

AAP, BJP Compete To Get Delhi, Dilli Drunk: AAP and BJP are in a bit of a competition to get Delhi tipsy and help it drown its sorrows. AAP has decided that all liquor shops in Delhi will be owned by its Government or state. That way excise and Govt coffers can go up to an estimated ₹9,500 crores. Quite a sum.

According to AAP, the BJP government was harassing private liquor shop owners with Directorate of Enforcement and the CBI! Their pincer attacks on liquor shops drove nearly half of Delhi alcohol selling outfits to close due to what they called harassment.

That might have sounded good for campaigners of an Alcohol-Mukt Bharat or wives praying for alcohol-free Indian men. But according to AAP, the Central Government was trying to introduce the Gujrat model. Modiji has been championing the Gujrat model of development everywhere since he announced his candidacy to become PM. He was after all Chief Minister of Gujarat once.

But Modiji has never showcased Gujarat model of liquor sale policy. AAP says the Gujarat model is to drive alcohol sale into the black market. With ED raids on licensed shops, apparently it was already happening in Delhi. As Delhi Police is under the Central Government, allegedly there was quite a bit of money to be made by arresting and de-arresting backstreet sellers. That is allegedly the Gujarat liquor economic model. Gujarat has many types of unique economic models to handle different aspects of the economy. For instance the Gujrat model of intercommunal harmony is to thump a minority on the head and make it say ‘jee huzoor’. Apparently it works.

Kejriwal wasn’t going to miss out on all the alcohol revenue regardless of the prayers of the haplesse Indian wife. So while the BJP Gujrat model wants Delhi to get drunk on the black-market and ‘unofficially’ or illegally as AAP says, AAP wants Delhi to be drunk and be merry officially. AAP minister, Manish Sisodia, is going to open almost all the liquor shops under Delhi Government. And people can buy the hard stuff at the pleasure of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and co with profits and excise going to make the pavements safe in case fully drunk individuals fall and hit their heads. It’s a circular economy. Every family can be happy. Papa hasn’t split his head after the fall after drinking too much.

So Delhi Govt is now going to be the owner of the biggest chain store in India, some 900 or more liquor stores. People can get merry, and after a few scotch whiskeys etc, say things like: Dilli, Dlehi or ‘Oee ki kende nae, daily, dilli, billy’ and pay Kejriwal Govt to get to that point of mental incoherence.

Apna Rishi

Apna Rishi had a dream. Born and schooled in Britain, he wanted to make Britain great again. So he became a politician after earning quite a lot of money as banker and then marrying into a mega rich house. He became Chief Munshi in Boris Johnson Government, tidying up the books and looking after the ‘toshakhana’.

His boss, Boris the Boar (has the physical features of one and snorts) has a moto: ‘Never knowingly tell the truth’. He has been brought down in an office coup (Palace belongs to the Queen in UK) because he didn’t tell the truth too many times even for the Brits to stomach.

It is alleged that Apna Rishi, in a hurry to become ‘Wazir e Alam’ of Britain, led the ‘Ides of March’ stabbing. Apna Rishi then quickly laid claim to the throne. Eight others also did. Seven of them have been weeded out by his fellow MPs. There are now two in the ring, Apna Rishi and a local girl, Liz Truss. Now Apna Rishi needs backing of his party members. That is where he is against tough competition. Three things stand against him. Being filthy rich in a country that hides its wealth (mostly looted from colonies). Telling the truth in a country that prides in hypocrisy. And being Brown and ‘foreign’ in a country that ditched EU membership because of English nationalism and dreaming of restoring Rule Britannia.

Apna Rishi wears ₹40,000 rupee (£400) shoes and ₹350,000 (£3500) suits when trying to convince voters that he understands poverty and the needs of financially struggling people. Many Tory voters from poor constituencies look at their ₹2,000 (£20) shoes and his ₹40,000 shoes and shake their heads. So that’s one big vote bank ‘shooed’ away.

Apna Rishi says that after the ‘never knowingly tell the truth’ period of his Boss, he (Apna Rishi) is going to be straight forward and tell the truth. (If anyone knows a Banker who is straightforward, please post it in Instagram).

The English pride in being hypocrites, so much that they even deny being hypocrites. Boris the current leader was too far into hypocrisy even for the English as he was doing it openly, so they decided to get rid of him. A true hypocrite is not meant to be found out. By compa, Boris was an honest hypocrite.

Apna Rishi took the English at face value and laid his stall by saying the country is broke with rising inflation, rising interest rates, rising poverty and rising energy costs, so he is going to raise TAXES to bring it all within affordable means. He is a Banker at heart and thinks of add and minus accounts.

RAISE TAXES. Has any politician in the world got elected by saying he/she will raise taxes? They all say they are going to get rid of taxes altogether if possible only to raise them when they get elected. Apna Rishi being Punjabi, has been saying what comes into the mind. So that’s a bigger vote bank cashed off free to his opponent, Liz Truss. Liz says she will lower taxes, even though all leading economic institutions say that is economic suicide.

Thirdly, Apna Rishi has taken the ‘non racist’ racism of the English to heart. He really believes in the rhetoric. The Brits are great at drama. This is land of Shakespeare. They put in a few non white faces in the ring to pretend they are not racists. Then they scalp the person alive in the press and throw the carcass in the bin.

Apna Rishi was asked if racism is a factor against him. Poor rich Apna rishi, taught in best public schools and Universities, said No! What else could he say!

He has been given a script for his campaign that can then be torn apart when needed. The press has suddenly been tearing apart his record as Chancellor, although he was the first finance Minister in the world to think of furlough payments to save people being thrown into dire bankruptcies during the pandemic. Now his expensive suits and shoes have become part of public ridicule in the press. Suddenly the right wing press is wheeling out failed economists to condemn his Tax Raising proposals.

The average Tory member who still dreams of Rule Britannia rebranded as Global Great Britain GGB), has been given enough reasons to vote against Apna Rishi and still not admit that it’s because he (Apna) is not White.

His competitor on the other hand is being hailed as having a great record as a foreign minister who stood up to Russia and a competent coherent politician.

This despite the fact that Russia’s Foreign Minister made mockery of her trip to Russia by saying ‘she hears but not listens’ and exposed her lack of knowledge of her subject. In diplomatic circles, she has become a joke.  She often speaks as if she is trying to put a sentence together and lacks coherence of thought in her answers. The Press says that shows she is thinking!

Apna Rishi is still trying. Being Punjabi, he is also getting angry possibly having realised he is a muppet in a game and being ‘coloured off’. Still its difficult to be sorry for him. He was naïve to think he can get into Downing Street. And he has a lot of spare cash while he has thrown the ordinary person in the abyss of rising inflation, interest rate hikes, falling standards and sky high energy costs. But Apna Rishi is Apna and Punjabi and great of him to try.  Where would a Apna Punjabi be without thinking of world dominance but unable to dominate even the mahala.