Butchibabu Gorantla was arrested for his alleged role in the formulation and implementation of the Delhi excise policy for the year 2021-22, causing wrongful gains to liquor wholesalers.
A Hyderabad-based chartered accountant (CA) and former close aide of Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao’s daughter K Kavitha was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday in connection with the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy case.
Butchibabu Gorantla was arrested for his alleged role in the formulation and implementation of the Delhi excise policy for the year 2021-22, causing wrongful gain to Hyderabad-based wholesale and retail licensees and their owners, said a CBI official.
The official also said that he will be produced before a court on Wednesday itself.
The CBI action comes days after a court in Delhi took cognizance of the supplementary chargesheet filed by the Enforcement Directorate, which is investigating the money laundering angle to the alleged corruption in the liquor policy.
In its chargesheet, the ED said that ₹100 crores exchanged hands in the form of kickbacks as part of the alleged corruption in the liquor policy.
Opposition Congress and BJP have demanded the resignation of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia.
In its supplementary chargesheet, the ED alleged that Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) communications in-charge Vijay Nair arranged a FaceTime video call from his phone between Sameer Mahendru, MD of IndoSpirits, and CM Kejriwal.
During the video chat, AAP chief Kejriwal “told Mahendru that Nair is his boy”, that he can trust him, and that he should continue his relationship with Nair, claimed the agency.
“Kejriwal, on a FaceTime video call, told Mahandru that Nair is his boy, that he can trust him and that he should carry on with Nair,” the supplementary chargesheet reads.
The ED also alleged that Kavitha, who is an MLC of the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (TRS), and the ‘South Group’ gave kickbacks to Nair on behalf of the AAP leadership to the tune of ₹100 crores.
The directorate registered a case based on the CBI FIR filed in August last year in response to a complaint filed by Delhi Lieutenant Governor Vinai Saxena.
In its case, CBI has named Sisodia as accused number 1. Nair, who is also the former CEO of Mumbai-based entertainment and event management company Only Much Louder, besides 13 private people across Lucknow, Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai and Karnataka, which include liquor firms Brindco and Indospirit, have also been named.
On August 19, the CBI carried out searches at several locations, including the premises of Sisodia. Even so, ED had carried out searches at over 169 locations in connection with the case.
In its FIR, CBI alleged that close associates of Sisodia were actively involved in “managing and diverting the undue pecuniary advantage” collected from liquor licenses to accused public servants.
Last year, the ED filed its first charge sheet in the excise policy money laundering case against five persons – Mahendru, Khao Gali Restaurants Pvt Ltd, Indospirits, Bubbly Beverages Pvt Ltd, IndoSpirits Distribution Limited before a Delhi court. The court took cognizance of the ED charge sheet on December 22.