NEW DELHI: A special CBI court on Wednesday allowed businessman Dinesh Arora to turn approver in the Delhi Excise Policy case.
Special Judge M K Nagpal allowed Arora, allegedly a close aide of Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, to become an approver and make a disclosure statement in the Delhi Excise policy case.
He had filed an application last week seeking pardon for his alleged involvement in the case and becoming an approver.
Earlier last week, Arora, a co-accused in the Delhi Excise scam and is reportedly said to be close to Sisodia, has moved the special CBI Delhi court hearing the matter, seeking to turn an approver in the case.
Arora moved an application before the special judge stating that he was seeking to turn an approver. He said his step is not due to any coercion or influence and he has chosen to take the step on his own.
The development happens in the wake of CBI questioning Sisodia, named as prime accused in the charge sheet, for 9 hours in connection with the irregularities in the Delhi excise case last month. The policy was formulated and enforced after Sisodia endorsed it.
The CBI also responded to Arora’s application stating that it had “no objection” regarding the application moved by Arora. Stating that “Arora has cooperated” with the agency during the investigation the CBI did not oppose Arora’s application.
The special court is expected to record his statement on November 14, the next date of hearing.
The CBI also said that Arora was actively involved in the case along with other co-accused and was instrumental in managing and diverting monetary gratifications collected from certain liquor licensees to various persons involved in the scam. However, the CBI maintained “Arora himself was not a beneficiary of the illegal gratifications collected or received in connection with
The CBI registered an FIR in August against Sisodia and 14 others under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 477A (falsification of records), and section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The FIR was lodged after Delhi Lt Governor VK Saxena recommended a CBI probe into the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22. Sisodia, was in charge of the excise department at the relevant period when the policy was formulated and implemented.
It was alleged that the Excise policy, which was brought into effect in November last year, was influenced at the formulation stage to benefit certain businessmen, liquor distributors and traders. Following the registration of the case the Delhi government had withdrawn the policy with effect from July 31, 2022.