Delhi excise policy scam: CBI files chargesheet against four including Manish Sisodia
The chargesheet was filed at special judge MK Nagpal’s court in which along with Sisodia, the CBI named Arjun Pandey, Amandeep Dhal and Hyderabad-based chartered accountant Buchi Babu Gorantla
NEW DELHI: The Central Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday filed a chargesheet against four individuals, including former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, in the Delhi excise policy case. This is in connection with the alleged scam which caused losses of Rs 2873 crores to the Delhi government following which the excise policy was scrapped on July 31, 2022.
The chargesheet was filed at special judge MK Nagpal’s court in which along with Sisodia, the CBI named Arjun Pandey, Amandeep Dhal, owner of Brindco Spirits, and Hyderabad-based chartered accountant Buchi Babu Gorantla. Buchi Babu is currently out on bail and is said to be a former auditor of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao’s daughter and Bharat Rashtra Samithi MLC K Kavitha, in a corruption case related to the alleged Delhi excise policy scam.
Arjun Pandey’s name figured in the course of investigation along with that of co-accused turned informer Dinesh Arora who were allegedly to be closely associated with the AAP and was actively involved in "managing" and "diverting" the illegal kickbacks from liquor traders – referred to as South Group traders, who benefitted from the Delhi Excise policy that was allegedly tweaked in their favour. While the traders got windfall gains Delhi government lost huge revenues due to the alleged tweaks in the policy. The CBI alleged that Buchi Babu played a key role by representing the South Group in the Delhi liquor scam.
The CBI, which arrested Sisodia in connection with the case on February 26 for non-cooperation in the investigation, had filed the first chargesheet in the case on November 25, naming seven accused including Vijay Nair, Abhishek Boinpally, Arun R. Pillai, Mootha Gautham, Sameer Mahendru, Kuldeep Singh, who was the then Deputy Commissioner, Excise Narender Singh, the then Asst. Commissioner, Excise Department.
The CBI registered the Delhi excise policy scam case in August last year 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, in charge of the excise department at the relevant period when the policy was formulated and implemented.
It was alleged that the policy, which was brought into effect in November 2021, 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 31 July 2022.