The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is conducting searches at the residences of Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, IAS officer Arava Gopi Krishna, and nineteen other places in the national capital region in link with the Delhi excise policy case. The agency filed an FIR alleging irregularities in the formation and implementation of the policy that was introduced last year. 

On July 30, 2022, Sisodia announced that the Delhi government’s new liquor policy would be completely scrapped and that only government-owned liquor vendors would be permitted to sell alcohol in the national capital.

VK Saxena, the Delhi LG, had recommended a CBI investigation into the Arvind Kejriwal government’s Excise Policy 2021-22, due to alleged rule violations and procedural lapses.

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Only Delhi government corporations, namely DTTDC, DSIIDC, DCCWS, and DSSC, will be permitted to operate retail liquor stores in the national capital beginning September 1, 2022.

In accordance with the new excise policy, Delhi would be split into 32 zones, each of which would have 27 liquor vends, at least five of which would sell super premium liquor, spread out over a minimum carpet area of 2,500 square feet.

According to the policy, the Delhi government would completely exit the liquor sector and give private operators the chance to fill the gap. Following a bidding procedure started by the Excise Department led by Delhi’s Deputy CM Manish Sisodia, 849 private vendors received licences under this new policy.

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The government stores, attempting to clear out old stock before the new policy came into effect, began offering heavy discounts such as buy-one-get-one-free and flat 50% off on all types of alcohol. The new policy’s implementation is said to have generated Rs 8,900 crore in revenue for the government.

Soon after, as was to be expected, the opposition parties, BJP and the Congress, began to express their disagreement with the new liquor rules, saying that the ruling AAP was leading young people astray by encouraging alcoholism and making the city unsafe for women. In an effort to show its disagreement, the BJP even went so far as to organise a “chakka jam” in January of this year.

Legal challenges also emerged, with the new policy being challenged in the Delhi High Court on grounds that it permits the monopolisation of liquor profits and that it would disproportionately hurt the poor by eliminating the “pauwa” or quarter bottle (180 ml). 

In Delhi, there were 649 private vendors by May of this year, and by June, that number had fallen to 464.

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Currently, nearly 240 liquor stores remain in Delhi. In fact, there aren’t any liquor stores in a lot of the capital city’s neighbourhoods. According to Business Today, there are no liquor stores in Safdarjung Enclave, Punjabi Bagh, Greater Kailash, Andrews Ganj, Chittaranjan Park, Kamla Nagar, Model Town, Rajendra Nagar, Sarita Vihar, Preet Vihar, and Chandni Chowk.

All liquor stores will be run by Delhi governmental bodies beginning next month. The government intends to open 500 liquor stores, which will be increased to 700 by December. On July 30, 2022, Sisodia announced that the Delhi government’s new liquor policy would be completely scrapped.