Delhi Excise Policy Case: ED arrests son of former SAD MLA

Gautam Malhotra is also close to Dinesh Arora, who was earlier arrested by ED

NEW DELHI | Updated: 08 February, 2023 7:37 pm IST
Gautam Malhotra is accused of playing a key role in the changes in the Delhi liquor policy

Moving ahead in its probe into the now-scrapped Delhi Excise Policy Case, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested Gautam Malhotra, who is accused of playing a key role in the changes in the liquor policy.

Malhotra is the son of former Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MLA Deep Malhotra, who owns the liquor manufacturing and distribution company Oasis Group.

An ED official related to the probe said that the agency arrested Malhotra last night in connection with the case.

The official said that Malhotra is a close aide of another accused, Dinesh Arora, in the case and he played an important role in making changes in the liquor policy. The ED officials produced Malhotra in the special CBI court today.

The ED action comes days after a Delhi court took cognizance of the supplementary charge sheet filed by the Enforcement Directorate, which is investigating the money laundering angle of the alleged corruption in the liquor policy.

In its charge sheet, the ED said that ₹100 crore exchanged hands in the form of kickbacks as part of the alleged corruption in the liquor policy.

The opposition Congress and BJP have demanded the resignations of Delhi Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy, Manish Sisodia.

In its supplementary charge sheet, 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.

The ED also alleged that Kavitha, who is an MLC of the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), and the ‘South Group’ gave kickbacks to Nair 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, the 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 individuals 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, the CBI alleged that close associates of Sisodia were actively involved in “managing and diverting the undue pecuniary advantage” collected from liquor licences 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.

Also Read Story

Change at the top of NTA amid NEET controversy

Punjab Girl’s “Jannat Hai” Kashmir Video Melts Hearts

CSIR-UGC-NET postponed amid paper leak controversy

J&K Police close to busting terror network aiding infiltration