Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Delhi Liquor Scam: 3 Hyderabadis figure in CBI chargesheet 

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PNS | Hyderabad

The CBI on Friday filed its first charge sheet against the seven accused, including two arrested businessmen, in the Delhi excise policy scam case.The suspects named in the charge sheet are Abhishek Boinpally, Arun Ramchandra Pillai, Mootha Gautam, the head of India Ahead and Andhra Prabha from Hyderabad. Vijay Nair, Sameer Mahendru and government officials Kuldeep Singh and Narendra Singh are the other accused.

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia named in the CBI FIR does not figure in the present charge sheet which was filed within 60 days of the probe agency taking up the investigation.

The accused have been charged under IPC Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and provisions against bribery under the Prevention of Corruption Act, officials said.

The agency kept the probe open regarding the role of others, the broader conspiracy with licensees, the money trail, cartelisation, and the larger conspiracy in framing and executing the controversial excise policy in the national capital which was rolled back.

The CBI has got an alleged ‘close associate’ of Sisodia, Dinesh Arora, to spill the beans by turning approver, 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 the investigation. The CBI, after registering a case against 15 people in August had carried out searches at various places.

It is alleged that 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.

Besides Sisodia, who holds the excise portfolio in the Delhi government, the CBI has 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 case.

The CBI alleged that Sisodia and other accused public servants recommended and took decisions regarding the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22 without the approval of the competent authority with “to extend undue favours to the licensees post tender.”

The CBI alleged that Amit Arora, the Director of Buddy Retail Pvt Limited in Gurugram, Dinesh Arora and Arjun Pandey are the “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 alleged that Radha Industries managed by Dinesh Arora received Rs 1 crore from Sameer Mahendru of Indospirits.

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