Excise Policy Case: ED quizzes AAP MLA Durgesh Pathak

Adding to the trouble of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is questioning its MLA Durgesh Pathak in connection with the now-scrapped new Excise Policy case, officials said. 

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By: Anand Singh | Alok Singh | NEW DELHI
Updated: 19 September, 2022 1:17 pm IST

Heaping more trouble on Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) questioned its MLA Durgesh Pathak in connection with the now-scrapped new Excise Policy case, officials said.

Pathak, who is an MLA from Delhi’s Rajendranagar, arrived at the ED headquarters around 10.30 am on Monday. He was questioned under the sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Pathak was asked to appear before ED as he was found at the residence of Vijay Nair in Mumbai during searches on September 6. Nair is former CEO of Mumbai-based Only Much Louder, an entertainment and event management company ED sources said that Pathak was questioned about his relationship with Nair, who is Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s close aide.

Before his questioning by the ED, Sisodia, who is named as accused number one in the CBI FIR in the Excise Policy case, slammed the BJP government at the Centre claiming that MCD election in-charge of AAP Pathak has been summoned by ED.

Taking a swipe at the BJP government, he tweeted, “Today, ED has summoned AAP MCD election in charge Pathak. What is the relation of the MCD election in charge with the Delhi government’s Excise Policy. Their target is excise policy or MCD elections?”

The development comes days after the ED questioned jailed Delhi Minister Satyendar Jain in connection with the Excise Policy case for several hours inside the Tihar Jail.

On September 16, the ED also carried out searches at over 40 locations across the country as part of a money laundering investigation into alleged irregularities in the Delhi Excise Policy.

The searches were conducted on the premises linked to liquor businessmen, distributors, and supply chain networks in Nellore and some other cities in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Delhi-NCR.

The ED officials also searched some places purportedly related to YSRCP MP M. Srinivasulu Reddy, including one at Nellore in Andhra Pradesh.

On September 6, the ED also searched over 30 locations — in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and others — in connection with the case. Besides Sisodia and Nair, the CBI has named Sameer Mahendru; his company Indospirits; 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, authorized 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 and Pankaj Bhatnagar, Assistant Commissioner (Excise).

The CBI had earlier carried out searches at 31 locations on August 19, including the premises of Sisodia in Delhi. 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 the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) for the year 2021-22.

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