Delhi minister and AAP leader Satyendar Jain’s wife was on Saturday granted interim bail by a court in an alleged money laundering case, in which he was arrested over two months ago.
Poonam had moved a bail application before the court. Since the Enforcement Directorate submitted that it would file its reply to the bail application, and considering the fact that she was not previously arrested by the agency, the court granted her interim bail.
The court also allowed Jain to withdraw his application seeking interim bail in the case. His counsel moved for withdrawal saying they have been informed that he was being discharged from hospital.
Jain has been in judicial custody since June 13. He is accused of having laundered money through four companies allegedly linked to him. According to the ED, Jain, between February 2015 and May 2017, when he was a minister, allegedly acquired assets that were disproportionate to his known sources of income.
A week after the Delhi government announced its decision to scrap its new liquor policy, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said he has written to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) requesting a probe into what he said was a sudden change in former lieutenant governor Anil Baijal’s decision to open shops in unauthorised colonies.
Sisodia had announced on July 30 that the new excise policy would be rolled back. This came after current L-G Vinai Kumar Saxena recommended a CBI probe into the new excise policy over alleged irregularities, and the Delhi Police’s Economic Offences Wing launched a probe into the excise department.
“In May 2021, the Cabinet passed the new excise policy. We said that the number of liquor shops will remain the same. But in the earlier policy, the shops were unevenly distributed. Some wards had 25 shops, some had none. Some malls had many shops. In the new policy, this principle was highlighted that there will be equitable distribution of shops, but the number of shops will not change. This was an important provision of the policy,” Sisodia said.
The policy was then sent to the L-G for approval and he made important suggestions for changes, Sisodia explained. “All suggestions of the L-G were accepted, and the new policy was sent to the L-G in June. He read it carefully and it was then passed. The policy said that unequitable distribution will be stopped. In every ward, there will be two to three shops, including in unauthorised areas,” Sisodia said.
But the L-G’s office then changed its decision, Sisodia claimed. “The L-G read the policy and then approved it. After it was approved, tenders were issued. But when it came to opening the shops, the L-G changed his stance. In the first week of November, the proposal to open shops was sent to the L-G, since shops were to be opened from November 17 onwards, including in unauthorised areas. On November 15, the L-G laid down a new condition that to open shops in unauthorised areas, permission from the DDA (Delhi Development Authority) and MCD (Municipal Corporation of Delhi) is needed. When he read the policy, this condition was not laid down,” he said.
Days after Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said he has written to the CBI requesting a probe into what he claimed was a sudden change in former L-G Anil Baijal’s decision on opening vends in unauthorised areas, current L-G Vinai Kumar Saxena sought an immediate apology from the AAP for using the term ‘L-G’ instead of ‘ex-L-G’ and removal of all “defamatory” tweets from AAP’s social media handle.
Senior AAP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh said he was unaware of the issue but added that Sisodia had levelled allegations against the former L-G with proof. The Delhi government did not respond to calls and messages seeking comment. The tweets were removed after the L-G raised the issue, sources said.
Wrestler Divya Kakran, who bagged a bronze medal in the recently concluded Commonwealth Games, tweeted on Tuesday that she played for Delhi from 2011 to 2017. Kakran was responding to Aam Aadmi Party national spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj’s comment on Sunday that she had not played for Delhi and had represented Uttar Pradesh.
In her tweet on Tuesday, Kakran said: “I played for Delhi from 2011 to 2017. Here’s the certificate from Delhi State!
If you still don’t believe this, should I upload certificates of 17 golds from Delhi State”. She uploaded a picture of a certificate from the Wrestling Federation of India from June 2019, which stated that she represented Delhi in freestyle and Greco Roman style, and the 19th Female Senior National Wrestling Championship held at Nandini Nagar, Gonda, Uttar Pradesh from October 23 to 25, 2016, in the 63-kg weight category.
On Sunday, Kakran had tweeted: “I thank the honourable Chief Minister from the bottom of my heart for congratulating me. I have been living in Delhi for the past 20 years and have been training here but till now I have not been awarded any money or received any help from the State government. It is my request that you honour me the way you honour players from Delhi who represent other States.” She was reacting to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal congratulating her for the latest win.
In response to her tweet on Sunday, Bharadwaj had said that she has always represented Uttar Pradesh and he does not remember her having played for Delhi. He went on to post pictures of news articles which said that Kakran represents Uttar Pradesh.
Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena Monday wrote to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal questioning the “delay” in tabling of four CAG audit reports from 2017 to 2021, which were tabled in one go recently, and said this was against rules and procedures.
Saxena also said the L-G office frequently flagged the issue of how the four reports were pending until recently with the Deputy Chief Minister’s office, and a reminder was sent as well. “Eventually, all the above reports were laid before the Legislative Assembly on 05.07.2022 after a considerable gap of time”, he said.
“It is observed that many irregularities pointed out in the above reports are of serious nature requiring urgent attention. Conduct of audit is essential for ensuring accountable governance. Securing timely action on the audit observations is a key responsibility of the government, which is expected to ensure judicious use of public funds. Inordinate delay in laying the audit reports before the Legislative Assembly not only delayed timely corrective action but also indirectly resulted in perpetuating stated deficiencies, thus, defeating the purpose of the audit in terms of ensuring efficiency, accountability and compliance with laid down rules and procedures,” said the L-G.
He further said: “I will once again urge you to ensure that in future, reports of the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India relating to the GNCTD are laid in time before the Legislative Assembly…”
The Delhi government refused to comment on the matter.
The Aam Aadmi Party, however, sought to downplay the matter. “The L-G has been sent only for this purpose… Taking a serious view of any allegation levelled by the L-G and the BJP is a waste of time,” AAP’s national spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh told reporters when asked for his comment on the issue. (with PTI inputs)
Days after the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) alleged corruption in MCD toll tax collection, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia Wednesday wrote a letter to Lieutenant Governor Vinay Kumar Saxena demanding Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the alleged scam, which led to a revenue loss of Rs 6,000 crore to the government’s exchequer.
The deputy CM in his letter said that about 10 lakh commercial vehicles from Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and other neighbouring cities enter the national capital via 124 different routes. “These commercial vehicles such as tempos, lorries and trucks are allowed inside Delhi after they pay toll tax ranging from Rs 100 to Rs 1,200,” he said.
The letter further read that the MCD awarded a tender to a private company in 2017 for the collection of toll tax and ads per the contract, and the company had to pay Rs 1,200 crore to the MCD every year.
“The company has paid the full amount to MCD in the first year, but ever since, in connivance with MCD, they stopped giving the collected tax to the civic agency. The corporation, which should have cancelled the tender, blacklisted the company and issued a tender to a new company, has done nothing for the last four years,” said Sisodia.
He has also alleged that in 2021, the MCD awarded a tender to the sister organisation of the previous company for a very less amount. “The company was given relaxation of Rs 83 crore on account of the pandemic,” said Sisodia.