New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) on Sunday arrested Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia in an ongoing investigation of a case related to alleged irregularities in framing and implementation of Delhi excise policy, the Central probe agency said.
Sisodia was arrested by the CBI after allegedly not cooperating during questioning at CBI headquarters here, sources said.
A notice was issued to Sisodia under section 41A CrPC for attending the investigation on February 19, however, he sought time of one week citing his preoccupation. Accepting his request, he was issued a notice under section 41A CrPC for attending the probe on February 26, for answering various questions allegedly evaded by him during his examination on October 17 last year, and further questions relating to his role based on evidence collected during the probe into the case, CBI said in a press release.
Sisodia gave evasive replies and did not co-operate the investigation despite being confronted with evidence to the contrary therefore he was arrested, it said.
Sisodia will be produced before the designated Court in Delhi.
The instant case was registered against Delhi Dy CM & In charge Excise Minister and 14 others for investigation into the matter of alleged irregularities in framing and implementation of Excise Policy for the year 2021-22 and alleged extending post tender benefits to private persons, it added.
A chargesheet was filed on December 25 last year, against the then CEO of a Mumbai based private company and six others.
Reacting to the arrest of Sisodia, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted and said, “Manish is innocent. His arrest is dirty politics. There is a lot of anger among the people due to the arrest of Manish. Everyone is watching. People understand everything. People will respond to this. This will boost our spirits further. Our struggle will get stronger.”
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and MP Sanjay Singh alleged that Sisodia’s arrest was ‘dictatorship’. “Sisodia’s arrest is the height of dictatorship. Modi ji, you have not done well by arresting a good person and best education minister, even God will not forgive you,” Sanjay Singh tweeted.
Earlier in the day, Sisodia appeared at CBI headquarters for questioning in connection with alleged irregularities in the Delhi excise policy case. Sisodia had reached Rajghat to seek blessings of Mahatma Gandhi (Bapu) before going to CBI, then he addressed AAP workers and said “Don’t be sorry if I go to jail, be proud. Lakhs of Manish Sisodia will be born, let’s see how many people Modi ji stops.”
Sisodia tweeted and wrote before going to CBI office: “Going to CBI again today, I will cooperate fully in the entire investigation. The love of lakhs of children and the blessings of crores of countrymen are with us. I don’t care if I have to stay in jail for a few months. It is a small thing to go to jail because of such false allegations.”
Kejriwal tweeted and said, “God is with you Manish. The blessings of lakhs of children and their parents are with you. When you go to jail for the country and society, then going to jail is not a curse, it is a glory. I pray to God that you return from jail soon. Children, parents and we all of Delhi will be waiting for you.”
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and MLA Atishi said, “CBI claims that Sisodia has done scam but till now CBI and ED don’t produce any evidence of it.”
Atishi in a press briefing said, “I want to ask the Central government, where Rs 10,000 crores if Manish Sisodia has done scam. The probe agency had raided Sisodia’s house, office and searched lockers even in his village.”
“In the 10,000 pages chargesheet of the probe agencies, there is no fact of corruption,” Atishi claimed.