The CBI has issued a fresh notice to Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia to appear for questioning in the excise policy scam case on February 26, officials said Monday.
The notice was issued on his request as he had sought deferment of his previously scheduled questioning on February 19, they said.
Sisodia, who holds the finance portfolio in the Delhi government, had cited the ongoing budget exercise to defer his questioning and had also sought a date during the last week of February, they said.
Addressing a press conference, Sisodia, a senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader, said that he has been called for questioning on February 26 and will appear before the probe agency.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had filed its first chargesheet against seven people on November 25 last year in which Sisodia was not named as an accused.
The officials said in its further probe into the money trail and links between liquor traders, AAP leaders, middlemen and politicians, the CBI has gathered elaborate material on which it needs clarifications from Sisodia who is the prime accused in the FIR, they said.
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The CBI has kept open the probe against Sisodia and other accused named in the FIR in the case.
Three months after the chargesheet was filed, the officials said, they have found details of meetings, message exchanges and transactions on which explanation could be sought from the the deputy chief minister.
The CBI is also armed with the confessional statement of Sisodia's alleged "close associate" Dinesh Arora, who is understood to have spilled the beans about how the excise policy was allegedly swung in favour of some liquor traders and the "South Lobby" of Hyderabad-based politicians and liquor traders who are under scanner of agencies.
It is alleged that the Delhi government's policy to grant licences to liquor traders favoured certain dealers who had allegedly paid bribes for it, a charge strongly refuted by the AAP.
"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, extension of L-1 license without approval etc," a CBI spokesperson had said.
"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," the official had said.
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