The Enforcement Directorate on Monday arrested businessman Vijay Nair in a case of alleged irregularities in the now-withdrawn Delhi liquor policy, reported NDTV.
Nair, who was in charge of the communication desk in the Aam Aadmi Party, was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation in September. The Enforcement Directorate on Monday took his custody from the Central Bureau of Investigation just ahead of his bail hearing.
Nair was arrested along with Hyderabad-based businessman Abhishek Boinpally, whose partner Arun Pillai has been named as an accused person in the first information report.
Unidentified officials from the Enforcement Directorate told PTI that the agency will seek Nair and Boinpally’s custody before a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act court.
Nair is a former chief executive officer of event management company Only Much Louder, and was the first one to have been arrested in the case. Fifteen persons, including Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, have been named as accused persons in the CBI’s first information report.
Under the policy, which was implemented in Delhi on November 17, licences of 849 liquor shops were issued to private firms through open bidding. However, on July 30, the Delhi government withdrew the policy after Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena recommended an inquiry into it by the Central Bureau of Investigation.
On September 1, Delhi reverted to its old liquor policy, under which only state-run stores are allowed to operate.
The Central Bureau of Investigation has alleged that favours were given to liquor licence holders under the now-withdrawn policy. These include allegedly waiving or reducing the licence fee and granting L-1 licences for wholesale supply of liquor without the approval of the competent authority.
The Enforcement Directorate had filed a money laundering case in August based on the Central Bureau of Investigation FIR.
HC seeks ED, CBI reply on information leak to media
Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court directed the Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation to file their responses on a plea alleging that the agencies leaked sensitive information in the liquor policy case to the media, reported Bar and Bench.
The petition was filed by Nair, who said that such leaking of information prejudices his rights as an accused person.
Justice Yashwant Varma said that the court will consider the official communications issued by the agencies and see if the news channels reported on the matter based on communications or out of their “figment of imagination”.
The High Court will now hear the case on November 21.