Going ahead with its probe into the alleged irregularities in the new excise policy 2021-22 of Delhi, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) carried out searches at over 30 locations in Delhi, Mumbai, and several other areas. This included raids on the residential premises of Sameer Mahendru, the Managing Director of Indospirits, in south Delhi’s upscale Jor Bagh area.
According to a top ED source, the financial probe agency registered an ECIR on the basis of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) FIR registered on August 17, in which Delhi Deputy Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Manish Sisodia is also named as an accused.
The ED source said that the agency sleuths are carrying out searches at 30 locations in Delhi, Gurugram, Lucknow, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad on the premises of those linked to the accused named in the case. In Delhi, the agency sleuths are carrying out searches on the residential premises of Mahendru. Besides Mahendru, the CBI has also named his company in the FIR.
The source also said that the agency sleuths are not conducting searches on the premises of Sisodia. The searches came days after the CBI raided 31 locations across the country in connection with the case on August 19, including the residential premises of Sisodia.
The CBI had also questioned several other accused and also issued Look Out Circular (LOC) against eight of them. The CBI had also searched the bank lockers of Sisodia in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad last month.
Besides Sisodia, Mahendru and Indospirits, the CBI has 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 has also named three public servants, including Arva Gopi Krishna, the then Excise Commissioner and IAS officer, Anand Tiwari, the then Deputy Excise Commissioner, Pankaj Bhatnagar, Assistant Commissioner (Excise).
The CBI FIR is based on the complaint received from Lt Governor of Delhi VK Saxena, alleging irregularities in the framing and implementation of the excise policy of GNCTD of Delhi for the year 2021-22.