The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has not issued a Look Out Circular (LOC) "as of now" against any accused, including Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, in Delhi's excise policy case, officials clarified on Sunday, 21 August.
They added that process of scrutinising documents is going on and notices are being issued to suspects for questioning.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Sunday hit out at PM Narendra Modi, claiming that his government issued an LOC against Sisodia and shared the news with media outlets, even as the the CBI clarified that it has not done so as of now.
Addressing a press conference, AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Union government shared with media the news about issuance of an LOC as the CBI could not find anything incriminating against Sisodia during its 15-hour-long raid at his residence and 30 other locations.
Earlier, Sisodia had taken to Twitter following reports of an LoC, and said, "All your raids failed, nothing was found, not even ek paise ki hera pheri, now you have issued a look out notice that Manish Sisodia is not available. What is this drama, Modi ji?"
On Saturday, the deputy CM's house was raided by the central agency in connection with alleged irregularities in the implementation of the policy.
As per earlier reports, the notice was issued against a total of 13 accused in the case.
Sisodia Lashes Out at Modi
Further, Sisodia hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that the public would give a 'Look Out Circular' to the current government Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2024.
In a conversation with ANI, Sisodia said, "It's unfortunate that the Prime Minister keeps thinking against who should a CBI 'Look Out Circular' be issued today."
He added, "Today, the country is looking for a leader who can give solutions to inflation, unemployment, and work to make India number one. What can they achieve by making Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia zero? The country needs a Prime Minister who thinks about Health and Education, the public will give a ‘look out notice’ to them in 2024 after asking about their huge promise."
He further claimed that the PM was only thinking about whose house the BJP could send CBI and Enforcement Directorate to conduct further raids at. He exclaimed that the condition of India is the same as it was 75 years ago and said, "They do not understand that the country is seeking solutions to unemployment. Where Arvind Kejriwal is finding out ways to make India number one."
In response to the reports of LoC issued to Sisodia, which have now been refuted by the CBI, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal took to Twitter to accuse the central government's interest and said that the common man was struggling with inflation and unemployment but the central government was concentrating only on CBI and ED raids.
The CBI named Sisodia as the principal accused in the case relating to lapses in the excise policy of the Arvind Kejriwal government.
The case was registered under sections related to criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The case listed 16 accused in its FIR on the alleged excise scam, following its 12-hour-long raids at the AAP leader's residence.
The FIR says that Sisodia, the then Delhi Excise Commissioner Arava Gopi Krishna, and two other senior excise department officials were “instrumental in recommending and taking decisions pertaining to excise policy for the year 2021-22 without approval of competent authority with an intention to extend undue favours to the licencees post tender."
(With inputs from ANI and PTI.)