Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh Lokayukta has summoned Excise Minister Naseemuddin Siddiqui to appear before it on February 19 for allegedly granting licence to sell liquor to a private firm.

The Minister has been summoned by Lokayukta Justice (retired) N K Malhotra on Tuesday on a complaint filed by Vinay Mishra, a resident of Allahabad, who had alleged bungling of multi-crore rupees by the Minister and higher government officials involved in granting of license for sale of liquor, officials said.

Licences were given to Blue Waters, a private company, in partnership with State Sugar Mills Federation by the Sugar and Excise Departments, in deviation to the state excise policy, the Lokayukta found during its inquiry.

In the notice sent to Siddiqui, the Lokayukta has sought the reason which led to license being given to Blue Waters when the excise policy was against allowing any private players in it.

After the BSP government was formed in 2007, the excise policy was amended, which stressed on giving the license for sale and distribution of liquor in UP to the state sugar mills federation.

But the minister issued the license jointly in favour of private company Blue Waters and State Sugar Mills Federation, they added.

The complainant has also alleged that at present the liquor is being sold on more than maximum retail price across the state.