Liquor scam: Sharath turns approver, to reveal all
Chandra Reddy’s name appeared in the second prosecution complaint or chargesheet filed by the ED in the Delhi Excise scam case on January 6, 2023.
NEW DELHI: In a new twist in the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22 scam case in which former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia is in jail and BRS leader K Kavitha, also the daughter of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, is under the scanner of the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Hyderabad-based businessman Sharath Chandra Reddy an accused in the case has now turned approver.
A Delhi court on Thursday allowed Chandra Reddy of Aurobindo Pharma, alleged to be one of the kingpins in the Delhi excise policy scam by the ED, to turn an approver following an application moved by him. Chandra Reddy, through his counsel, had moved the application before Special Judge MK Nagpal in the Rouse Avenue Court requesting permission to let him turn an approver.
The court on Thursday announced that his request has been considered and he has also been granted pardon vide an order dated May 29. Chandra Reddy’s name appeared in the second prosecution complaint or chargesheet filed by the ED in the Delhi Excise scam case on January 6, 2023.
The agency which is probing the trail of the kickback money which originated out of the policy which favoured ‘liquor lobbies’ was laundered by various middlemen to bribe government officials and politicians, had named Chandra Reddy along with Binoy Babu, Vijay Nair, Abhishek Boinpally and Amit Arora.
Seven private entities, primarily in the liquor trade, were also mentioned as accused in the chargesheet.
In the chargesheet, the ED alleged that Chandra Reddy is one of the kingpins and a major beneficiary in the entire Delhi Excise policy scam.
In control of five zones
According to the ED, Chandra 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. Chandra Reddy was a key partner in the biggest cartel of manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers., named the “South Group” the ED alleged. The ED, which has filed five chargesheets in the matter so far, has named Manish Sisodia in the last one filed on May 5.
According to the ED, the investigations so far have revealed that the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22 was allegedly designed and implemented by Manish Sisodia who was also the Excise minister to ensure regular flow of illegal funds in the Aam Aadmi Party to meet its political expenses, including funding elections.
The ED alleged the policy granting licences to liquor traders allowed cartelisation and favoured certain dealers, especially the South Group who had allegedly paid bribes for incorporating favourable tweaks in the policy and were the biggest beneficiaries of the scam.
Chandra Reddy was a key member of the South Group which also comprised Kavitha, Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy of YSR Congress and his son Raghav Magunta. The ED alleged that while irregularities in the Delhi liquor policy scam caused the government a loss of `2,873 crores, the accused gained a profit of `295 crore. The special court has taken cognisance of all the chargesheets noting that there was substantial evidence to proceed with the case.