In a new twist to the Delhi liquor scam saga, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s daughter K Kavitha’s name has cropped up in the case. The Enforcement Directorate has alleged that she was a key member of the “South Group” which paid at least Rs 100 crore in kickbacks to leaders of Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) via another arrested businessman and AAP communication in-charge Vijay Nair.
The ED, which is probing the money laundering case in the excise policy case made the revelations in the court after arresting Gurugram based businessman Amit Arora, one of the accused named in the case.
The ED also alleged that Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) communication in-charge Nair, who was arrested by the CBI and the ED in the case, on behalf of party leaders at least received kickbacks to the tune of Rs 100 crore from a group called South Group.
In its remand paper of Arora, the financial probe agency alleged that the 12 per cent profit margin to the wholesalers was devised to extract half of it as a kickback to the AAP leaders.
“As per the investigation carried so far, Nair, on behalf of leaders of AAP has at least received kickbacks to the tune of Rs 100 crore from a group, called South Group, controlled by Sarath P Reddy of Aurobindo Pharma, K Kavitha, who is an elected Member of Legislative Council from Nizamabad Local Authorities’ Constituency in October 2020 in the by-poll, Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy, by various persons including Arora,” the ED said.
The ED said that the same has been disclosed by the arrested accused Arora in his statements.
This is for the first time that the name of the Bharath Rashtra Samithi (BRS) leader has come to the fore in the case probed by the ED.
The ED has so far arrested Nair, Hyderabad-based Abhishek Bonipally, Reddy, Arora, Sameer Mahendru, MD of Indospirits and others in the case.
The ED further alleged that Nair was not an ordinary worker of the AAP but a “close associate” of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
“Nair, as per his statement, functioned from the camp office of Kejriwal. Further, Nair, since 2020, has been residing in the government bungalow allotted to Kailash Gehlot, Cabinet Minister of Delhi government, part of GoM of Excise Policy 2021-22. Nair, does not have any other residence in Delhi. Irony being Gehlot lives at another private residence in Najafgarh,” the ED says.
The ED said that these facts are relevant to mention so as to establish the abatement of actions of Arora, who played a crucial role in the whole scam. He has been instrumental in connecting the cartels of manufacturer or wholesaler or retailer to the political leadership and facilitating 6 per cent kickbacks by working closely with Dinesh Arora and Nair.
The ED had filed a case of money laundering on the basis of the CBI FIR it registered on August 17 this year.
The CBI had filed the FIR based on a complaint received from Delhi Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena, who flagged irregularities in the framing and implementation of the Delhi Excise Policy.
Besides Delhu Dy CM Manish Sisodia, the CBI has named 14 others, including 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 Nair, the AAP communication in-charge and former CEO of Mumbai-based Only Much Louder; Mahendru, MD of Indospirits; Manoj Rai, a former employee of Lucknow-based Pernod Ricard; Arora, director of Gurgaon-based Buddy Retail Private Limited; Dinesh Arora, Delhi-based Mahadev Liquors; Sunny Marwah, authorised signatory of Mahadev Liquors; Arun Ramchandra Pillai of Karnataka’s Bangalore and Arjun Pandey of Gurgaon, have also been named in the CBI FIR.