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Delhi excise case: Court extends ED remand of Hyderabad businessman Arun Ramchandra Pillai
New Delhi: The Rouse Avenue Court on Monday extended the Enforcement Directorate (ED) remand of Hyderabad-based businessman Arun Ramchandra Pillai till March 16, in connection with the probe into the Delhi Excise Policy money laundering case.
Special Judge Vikas Dhull on Monday allowed ED application for further extensions of the remand of Arun Ramchandra Pillai. ED further informed the court that it has again issued summons to Hyderabad-based chartered accountant Butchibabu Gorantla to confront him. Butchibabu was recently granted bail by the same court in a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) case.
Advocate Manu Sharma for Pillai opposed the further remand plea of ED and submitted that "in light of the fact that 29 times I have given a statement and six times in custody clearly they want me to say something and in such case, they may intimidate me in this light. I had asked a lawyer to be allowed to be present during the interrogation. He (lawyer) may not hear anything, he may sit in a corner."
Pillai was arrested last Monday following his day-long questioning by the ED officials in the case. The agency has so far arrested 11 persons in the case.
After Pillai's arrest, former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia was also arrested by the ED in the same case. Sisodia is also presently on ED remand.
The central agency has recently also arrested liquor businessman Amandeep Dhall concerning the Delhi excise policy case. The Court on Monday also sent him to judicial custody.
Dhall, the owner of Brindco Sales Private Limited, was allegedly involved in the conspiracy to formulate and implement an excise policy that extended favours to liquor manufacturers and distributors, said the ED.
In February, the federal agency also arrested Rajesh Joshi, owner of Chariot Production Media Pvt Ltd, in the case. The agency earlier arrested Punjab-based businessman Gautam Malhotra, son of former Shiromani Akali Dal MLA Deep Malhotra, in the case last month too.
The agency last year filed its first chargesheet before a court in the national capital in the Delhi excise policy money laundering case naming liquor businessman Sameer Mahandru as one of the accused.
The agency said it has so far undertaken nearly 200 search operations in this case after filing FIR after taking cognisance of a CBI case which was registered on the recommendation of the Delhi lieutenant governor.
The CBI inquiry was recommended on the findings of the Delhi chief secretary's report filed in July showing prima facie violations of the GNCTD Act 1991, Transaction of Business Rules (ToBR)-1993, Delhi Excise Act-2009, and Delhi Excise Rules-2010, officials had said.
In October, the ED had raided nearly three dozen locations in Delhi and Punjab following the arrest of Sameer Mahendru, managing director of Delhi's Jor Bagh-based liquor distributor Indospirit Group, in the case and arrested him later.
The ED and the CBI had alleged that irregularities were committed while modifying the Excise Policy, undue favours were extended to licence holders, licence fee was waived or reduced and L-1 licence was extended without the competent authority's approval. The beneficiaries diverted "illegal" gains to the accused officials and made false entries in their books of account to evade detection. (ANI)