Delhi Excise Policy Case: CBI Arrests Hyderabad-Based Abhishek Bonipally

CBI on Monday said it has arrested one Abhishek Bonipally in connection with its probe into the irregularities in the now scrapped Delhi Excise Policy case.

NEW DELHI | Updated: 10 October, 2022 4:02 pm IST
The case relates to the murder of Dr Sharad Chandra, the then secretary of Balika Vidyapeeth, in Lakhisarai on August 2, 2014.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday said it has arrested one Abhishek Bonipally in connection with its probe into the irregularities in the now scrapped Delhi Excise Policy case. Later in the afternoon, a Delhi court sent Bonipally to three-day CBI custody.

This is the second arrest in the case by the CBI. On September 27, the CBI arrested Vijay Nair, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) communication in-charge and former CEO of Mumbai-based Only Much Louder, an entertainment and event management company. Hyderabad-based Bonipally is said to be an associate of Arun Ramachandra Pillai, who was earlier named in a CBI FIR related to the case and is a director in at least nine companies.

According to CBI officials, Bonipally was arrested after his questioning by the agency sleuths on Sunday. The agency also said that ₹3.85 crores were received in Bonipally’s account from Indospirit’s account.

Incidentally, Indospirit’s managing director, Sameer Mahendru, was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on September 28. While Bonipally claimed that this was a loan taken from Indospirit, he has not been able to produce any documents in its support.

Meanwhile, CBI stated that money came to Bonipally’s account after being routed through 2-3 accounts. He invested this money in different companies and has shares in these companies. The central probe agency also claimed that Bonipally participated in various meetings at different places with regard to the excise policy.

According to a CBI official, Bonipally was arrested after the officials found that he was not cooperating with them. The official also said that Bonipally is involved in the “cartelization” of the “Southern lobby”.

Besides Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia and Nair, the CBI has named 13 others in the FIR it registered on August 17.

The CBI has named three public servants – then excise commissioner Arva Gopi Krishna, then deputy excise commissioner Anand Tiwari, and assistant commissioner (excise) Pankaj Bhatnagar.

Some private persons, including Mahendru, Manoj Rai, ex-employee of Lucknow-based Pernod Ricard; Amit Arora, director of Gurgaon-based Buddy Retail Private Limited; Dinesh Arora; Delhi-based Mahadev Liquors; Sunny Marwah, authorised signatory of Mahadev Liquors; Bengaluru’s Pillai and Arjun Pandey of Gurgaon, have also been named in the CBI FIR.

The CBI FIR was filed based on a complaint received from Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena, who flagged irregularities in the framing and implementation of the Delhi Excise Policy. The AAP government had announced the scrapping of the policy after a series of protests by the BJP and Congress.

After registering the case, the CBI carried out searches at several locations, including the premises of Sisodia. ED also registered a case of money laundering and carried out searches at over 140 locations in the last month.

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