ED grills CM Kejriwal’s close aide Bibhav Kumar in liquor case

Bibhav Kumar was identified as CM Kejriwal’s personal assistant by ED in its chargesheet.

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By: Anand Singh | New Delhi
Updated: 23 February, 2023 4:24 pm IST
Bibhav Kumar is a close aide of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal.

Enforcement Directorate (ED) is questioning Bibhav Kumar, said to be a close associate of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, in connection with its money laundering probe into the now-scrapped excise policy case.

The development comes days before Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia’s scheduled questioning by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on February 26 in the case.

Kumar arrived at the ED headquarters in Delhi around 11.15 am and is being questioned since, according to ED officials.

Kumar was identified as CM Kejriwal’s personal assistant by ED in its chargesheet. It had alleged that Kumar changed his mobile phones four times last year.

The ED filed its first chargesheet against five persons – Sameer Mahendru, MD of Indospirits, Khao Gali Restaurants Pvt Ltd, Indospiritis, Bubbly Beverages Pvt Ltd, Indospirits Distribution Limited before a Delhi court in December 2022.

In its chargesheet, ED pointed out how attempts were made to “destroy the evidence”.

Earlier this month, ED arrested Magunta Raghava Reddy, son of YSR Congress Party MP Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy, Gautham Malhotra and Chariot Media owner Rajesh Joshi.

The ED case is based on the CBI FIR filed on August 17, 2022, in response to a complaint filed by Lt Governor Vinai Saxena.

CBI has named Sisodia as accused number one in the case, along with his close aide Nair, who is also the 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 include liquor firms Brindco and Indospirit.

The CBI had carried out searches at several locations on August 19, including the premises of Sisodia. Even so, ED had carried out searches at over 169 locations in connection with the case.

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 licenses to accused public servants.

Last year, the ED filed its first charge sheet in the excise policy money laundering case against five persons – Mahendru, Khao Gali Restaurants Pvt Ltd, Indospirits, Bubbly Beverages Pvt Ltd, IndoSpirits Distribution Limited before a Delhi court. The court took cognizance of the ED charge sheet on December 22.

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