Special ED court takes cognisance of second chargesheet in Delhi Excise Policy case
The ED alleged that Sharath C Reddy is one of the kingpins and major beneficiaries in the entire Delhi Excise policy scam.
Published: 02nd February 2023 10:07 PM | Last Updated: 02nd February 2023 10:07 PM | A+A A-
NEW DELHI: A special Court in Delhi on Thursday took cognisance of the second prosecution (chargesheet) complaint filed by the Directorate of Enforcement in the Delhi Excise Policy case in which five people and seven firms were named for laundering huge amounts of kickback money that originated out of the ‘tweaked’ policy that favoured ‘liquor lobbies’ and was allegedly distributed amongst middlemen, government and politicians.
Special Judge MK Nagpal, taking cognisance of the chargesheet of more than 13,000 pages, including a complaint of 428 pages supported by voluminous documents, statements and lists of witnesses and issued summons to the accused named in both the chargesheets on 23 February.
In the second chargesheet filed on January 6, 2023, the ED has named five people and seven firms, including Sharath C Reddy, Binoy Babu, Vijay Nair, Abhishek Boinpally and Amit Arora who are already in Judicial custody.
Seven private entities are Trident Chemphar Ltd, Sri Avantika Contractors (I) Pvt. Ltd., Organomix Ecosystems Pvt. Ltd., Pernod Ricard India Pvt. Ltd., KSJM Spirits LLP, Buddy Retail (TI) Pvt. Ltd. And Popular Spirits Pvt. Ltd.
In the first chargesheet, Sameer Mahandru and four other entities allegedly belonging to him, Khao Gali Restaurants, Bubbly Beverages, Indo Spirits and Indospirit Distribution Ltd., were named and the court had taken cognisance observing there was adequate evidence to proceed against them.
Reddy, whole-time director and promoter of Aurobindo Pharma and Binoy Babu of Pernod Ricard were arrested by the ED on November 10.
The ED alleged that Reddy is one of the kingpins and major beneficiaries in the entire Delhi Excise policy scam.
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According to ED, Reddy was effectively controlling five retail zones through his group company, Trident Chemphar Pvt Ltd and proxy entities, namely Organomixx Ecosystems and Sri Avantika Contractors in violation of the Excise Policy, which barred any person from controlling more than two retail zones. Reddy was a key partner in the biggest cartel of manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers., named the "South Group", the ED alleged.
The ED added that Babu was a part of the cartelisation. He had given 29 out of 31 licences to retailers. During the investigation, the agency also found the draft final policy of the Excise Policy from Babu's email. The ED alleged that the liquor licence had been given only to a select group of people deliberately and some of the panel submissions had been illegally leaked.
The ED also found that Nair, who was closely associated with the AAP, received kickbacks worth Rs 100 crore on behalf of AAP leaders from the ‘South Group’, which is controlled by Sharath Chandra Reddy, K. Kavitha, Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy.
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Amit Arora, alleged to be a close aide of Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia and director of Buddy Retail Pvt Limited located in Gurugram, who made startling disclosures naming K Kavitha and other politicians, was instrumental in bribing government officials and others in the laundering scam.
The ED alleged that Nair Boinpally was actively involved in irregularities in the framing and implementation of excise policy. They influenced the distribution of liquor licenses to various traders and distributors and were involved in large-scale cartelization.
The first chargesheet was filed by the ED in November naming only Sameer Mahendru, Managing Director of Indo Spirit. In the chargesheet, the ED alleged that while irregularities in the Delhi liquor policy scam caused the government a loss of Rs 2,873 crore, the accused gained a profit of Rs 295 crore. The special court has taken cognisance of the chargesheet noting that there is substantial evidence to proceed with the case.