ED Raids 35 Locations In 3 States In Delhi Excise Policy Case

In a fresh round of raids in the Delhi Excise Policy case, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) searched more than 35 locations in Delhi, Punjab and Telangana on Friday morning.

New Delhi | Updated: 07 October, 2022 11:29 am IST
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In a fresh round of raids in the Delhi Excise Policy case, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) searched more than 35 locations in Delhi, Punjab and Telangana on Friday morning.

The locations also included the office and residential premises of Amandeep Dhal, director of Delhi-based Brindco Sales Pvt Ltd.

The financial probe agency has already carried out two rounds of searches at over 30 and 40 locations on September 6 and 16, respectively.

The ED has, however, not searched the properties linked to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia to date.

An ED source related to the probe told The New Indian, “Multiple teams of ED swung into action since early morning.” The source said that searches began early in the morning around 6.15 am and are still going on.

The ED carried out searches in Delhi at the office and residential premises of Dhal in South Delhi’s Okhla and Maharani Bagh areas.

The source said that the financial probe agency also carried out searches at the offices of an English news channel in Uttar Pradesh’s Noida.

The source further said that the fresh searches came in the wake of leads gathered during the questioning of several people in the last few weeks, including that of arrested accused Sameer Mahendru, managing director of Indospirits.

On Thursday, the agency informed a court that the involvement of several people had come to the fore during the questioning of arrested accused Mahendru on September 28. However, it did not name them.

The roles of some people associated with the popular food chain Khau Galli have been unearthed, the agency told the court.

Earlier, the ED questioned several people from Punjab and Hyderabad, including two IAS officers and a joint commissioner in the case, which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alleges involves a scam running into crores.

The young AAP leader, Durgesh Pathak, who represents Rajinder Nagar in the Delhi Assembly, was also quizzed by the agency last month for over 10 hours.

The ED case is based on the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) FIR that was registered on August 17 this year on the allegations of irregularities in the distribution of liquor shop licences under the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22. Sisodia has been named as the first accused in the CBI FIR.

On September 27, the CBI arrested Vijay Nair, AAP communication in-charge and the former CEO of Mumbai-based Only Much Louder, an entertainment and event management company.

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 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress.

Besides Mahendru, Sisodia and Nair, 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 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; Arun Ramchandra Pillai of Karnataka’s Bangalore and Arjun Pandey of Gurgaon, have also been named in the CBI FIR.

In the CBI FIR, it has been alleged that Sisodia, Krishna, Tiwari, and Bhatnagar were instrumental in recommending and taking decisions pertaining to excise policy for the year 2021-22 without the approval of competent authority with the intention of extending undue favours to the licensee post-tender.

The CBI FIR further states that reliable sources have revealed that Nair, Rai, Dhal, and Mahendru are actively involved in irregularities in the framing and implementing of the excise policy of GNCTD of Delhi for the year 2021-22.

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