CBI files charge sheet in Delhi excise scam case

NewsDrum Desk
25 Nov 2022

New Delhi, Nov 25 (PTI) The CBI on Friday filed its first charge sheet in the Delhi excise policy scam case against arrested businessmen Vijay Nair and Abhishek Boinpally and five more accused, keeping the probe open into the alleged role of others named in the FIR including Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, officials said.

Besides Nair and Boinpally, those named in the charge sheet are the Managing Director of India Ahead News channel Mootha Gautam, Hyderabad-based liquor businessman and a partner of Boinpally in Robin Distilleries LLP Arun R Pillai, owner of Indospirit Sameer Mahendru and two former officials of the excise department -- Deputy Commissioner Kuldeep Singh and Assistant Commissioner Narender Singh , they said.

Nair and Boinpally were arrested by the CBI but recently granted bail by a special court. They are still in custody in connection with Enforcement Directorate case against them, they said.

The seven accused have been named in the charge sheet under IPC section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and provisions of bribery under the Prevention of Corruption Act, officials said.

Sisodia, named in the CBI FIR, does not figure in this charge sheet.

"Further investigation is continuing to investigate the role of FIR named accused and other persons on various allegations including conspiracies with other licensees, money trails, cartelization and larger conspiracies in the formulation and implementation of the Excise Policy," CBI spokesperson said in a statement on Friday.

The central probe agency has got an alleged "close associate" of Sisodia -- Dinesh Arora -- to spill beans by turning approver in the case, they said.

Arora recorded his statement under section 164 of CrPC before the magistrate and was granted a pardon by a special court for helping in the investigation.

The CBI, after registering a case against 15 people in August had carried out searches at various places.

It is alleged the Delhi government's policy to grant licenses to liquor traders was influenced in favour of certain dealers who had allegedly paid bribes for it, a charge strongly refuted by Delhi's ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), they said.

"It was further alleged that irregularities were committed including in modifications in Excise Policy, extending undue favours to the licencees, waiver/reduction in licence fee, extension of L-1 license without approval etc. It was also alleged that illegal gains on count of these acts were diverted to concerned public servants by private parties by making false entries in their books of accounts," the spokesperson said.

Besides Sisodia, who holds the excise portfolio in the Delhi government, the CBI had named the then excise commissioner Arava Gopi Krishna, the then deputy excise commissioner Anand Kumar Tiwari, assistant excise commissioner Pankaj Bhatnagar, nine businessmen and two companies as accused in the FIR filed on August 17.

In its FIR, the agency has alleged that Sisodia and other accused public servants recommended and took decisions pertaining to the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22 without the approval of competent authority with "an intention to extend undue favours to the licensees post tender".

The agency has alleged Amit Arora, Director of Buddy Retail Pvt Limited in Gurugram, Dinesh Arora and Arjun Pandey are "close associates" of Sisodia and were "actively involved in managing and diverting the undue pecuniary advantage collected from liquor licensees" for the accused public servants.

The CBI has alleged that Radha Industries managed by Dinesh Arora received Rs 1 crore from Sameer Mahendru of Indospirits. PTI ABS ZMN

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