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Delhi Excise Policy Case: Court Reserves Order On Dinesh Arora Application To Turn Approver

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By: Anand Singh | NEW DELHI
Updated: November 14, 2022 16:16
Rouse Avenue Court (TNI File Photo By Amit Rawat)
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A Delhi court on Monday reserved its order on businessman Dinesh Arora in the now scrapped Excise Policy 2021-22 case and set November 16 to decide on his application.

Earlier in the day, Arora arrived at the Special CBI court here at Rouse Avenue Court premises. The court reserved its order to decide on his application on November 16.

Earlier, Arora had decided to turn approver with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the new excise policy case.

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The CBI has sought permission from the court to make Arora, who got anticipatory bail in September, an approver in the case. The probe agency had not opposed his bail plea.

In the court, Arora had sought to be tendered pardon on appropriate conditions, as he is ready to disclose all facts and circumstances with regard to this case as per his knowledge.

When court asked if he was pressurised, Arora said that he has no pressure, no threats by CBI or anyone else to do this.

The court had remarked that it has been noted that he (Arora) “voluntarily requested pardon” while agreeing to disclose “true info” about the case as per his knowledge, and this has been done without any “pressure or undue influence” by CBI or anyone else.

Meanwhile, the CBI also did not oppose an application earlier moved by Arora’s counsel for in-camera proceedings, stating that it was a sensitive matter and the media should be kept out at this early stage.

According to CBI sources, Arora’s disclosure statement could help probe agencies unravel the entire network of liquor licensee, traders and pay offs to public servants related to the case, which had first been registered by the CBI on August 17 this year.

The central agency had also issued a look out circular (LOC) against eight people named as accused in the excise policy scam.

The CBI has named Delhi Deputy Chief minister and AAP leader Manish Sisodia as the accused number one along with his close aide and party communication in-charge Vijay Nair, who is also former CEO of Mumbai-based entertainment and event management company Only Much Louder, besides 13 private people across Lucknow, Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai and Karnataka, which includes liquor firm Brindco and Indospirit.

The CBI in its FIR alleged that close associates of Sisodia were actively involved in “managing and diverting the undue pecuniary advantage” collected from liquor licensees to accused public servants.

In the FIR, the CBI also alleged that Sameer Mahendru, Managing Director of Indospirits, transferred an amount of ₹1 crore to the account of Radha Industries, which is managed by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader’s close associate Arora.

Apart from Mahendru and Nair, the CBI has also named Manoj Rai, ex-employee of Lucknow-based Pernod Ricard; Amandeep Dhal, Director of Delhi-based Brindco Sales Pvt. Ltd.; Amit Arora, Director of Buddy Retail Private Limited; Dinesh Arora, Delhi-based Mahadev Liquors; Sunny Marwah, authorised signatory of Mahadev Liquors; Arun Ramchandra Pillai of Karnataka’s Bangalore and Arjun Pandey of Gurgaon. The CBI also named other unnamed public servants and private persons in the FIR.

The CBI has till date arrested Nair and Hyderabad-based businessman Abhishek Bonipally.

Earlier in the day, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) also arrested Nair and Bonipally, who were earlier arrested by the CBI. The ED had earlier arrested Mahandru, Sarath C Reddy of Aurobindo Pharma and Binoy Babu of Pernod Ricard.

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