Big action by ED in liquor policy scam
On Thursday, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested pharmaceutical firm Aurobindo Pharma‘s whole-time director P Sarath Chandra Reddy and multinational alcohol beverage company Pernod Ricard‘s General Manager- International Brands Benoy Babu liquor policy scam.
Benoy Babu of Pernod Ricard and Sharath Reddy of Aurobindo Pharma were arrested under sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). As per BSE, P Sarath Chandra Reddy is the Executive Director of Aurobindo Pharma.
Following raids at the premises of the duo in connection with the Delhi excise policy case, the federal agency has arrested them under money laundering charges, ED sources said. According to sources, both will be produced before Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court later in the day. The ED is all set to seek their custodial remand.
In September, Sameer Mahandru, managing director of a liquor manufacturing company Indospirit, was arrested by the ED. The CBI booked 15 accused persons, including Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia under IPC Section 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 477A (falsification of accounts) and Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
“Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, Arva Gopi Krishna, the then Commissioner (Excise), Anand Tiwari, the then Deputy Commissioner (Excise), and Pankaj Bhatnagar, Assistant Commissioner (Excise) were instrumental in recommending and taking decisions pertaining to the excise policy for the year 2021-22 without the approval of the competent authority with an intention to extend undue favours to the licensee post tender,” read the FIR,
As the central agencies are tightening their grip around Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, more trouble mounts for him after Dinesh Arora turns as a witness. Businessman Dinesh Arora – who the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said is a close aide of Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia — is set to turn into an approver in the Delhi liquor policy case. He approached the Delhi Rouse Avenue Court and said he will reveal all the truth about his role in the case.
The excise scheme came under the scanner after the Delhi L-G recommended a CBI probe into the alleged irregularities in the implementation of Delhi’s Excise Policy 2021-22. The L-G had also suspended 11 excise officials.
[With Inputs from IANS]
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