A Delhi court on Wednesday allowed an application of businessman Dinesh Arora to turn an approver in the now-scrapped excise policy case, which is being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
CBI Special Judge MK Nagpal approved the application of Arora during in-camera proceedings. The order on his plea was reserved on Monday.
However, it is yet not clear if the statement of Arora was recorded by the court.
The CBI had 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 then.
In the court, Arora had sought to be tendered pardon on appropriate conditions, stating that he was ready to disclose all facts and circumstances with regard to this case as per his knowledge.
When the court asked if he was pressurised, Arora said that he has no pressure, no threats by CBI or anyone else to do so.
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 licensees, traders and payoffs to public servants related to the case, which had first been registered by the CBI on August 17 this year.
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.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) also had earlier arrested Mahandru, Sarath C Reddy of Aurobindo Pharma and Binoy Babu of Pernod Ricard.