AAP leaders devised Delhi excise policy to generate illegal funds, alleges ED chargesheet
The Enforcement Directorate has accused that Aam Aadmi Party communication in-charge Vijay Nair of orchestrating the scam.
Leader of the Aam Aadmi Party devised the new excise policy for to generate illegal funds, the Enforcement Directorate has alleged in its chargesheet filed in the case on Tuesday, reported PTI.
The central agency is investigating the money laundering aspect of the case and has alleged that the policy, that has now been put on hold, caused a loss of Rs 2,873 crore to the government exchequer.
On August 17, the Central Bureau of Investigation had booked Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and 14 other persons on charges of irregularities in a new liquor policy, which was part of the excise regulations.
Under the policy, which was implemented in Delhi on November 17 last year, 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 agency.
On September 1, Delhi reverted to its old liquor policy, under which only state-run stores are allowed to operate.
“The policy was formulated with deliberate loopholes, inbuilt mechanism to facilitate illegal activities and is marred with inconsistencies which when looked deeply, reflect malafide intentions of the policymakers,” the Enforcement Directorate said in its chargesheet, reported PTI.
The chargesheet has alleged that the Aam Aadmi Party’s communication in-charge and co-accused Vijay Nair “orchestrated the entire scam.”
Nair has been accused of receiving advance kickbacks worth Rs 100 crore from the alleged South Group comprising Andhra Pradesh MP and YSR Congress leader Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy, his son Raghav Magunta, Telangana MLC and Bharat Rashtra Samithi leader K Kavitha, and businessman Sarath Reddy.
The central agency has said that the excise policy had been leaked to certain liquor wholesalers and liquor manufacturers much before it was released and large number of approvals given by excise officials beyond the working hours, reported PTI.
Businessman Sameer Mahendru, the owner of Indo Spirits, is accused of forming a super cartel with the alleged South Group to control nine out of 32 retail zones in Delhi’s liquor business, the Enforcement Directorate chargesheet said, reported the Hindustan Times.
The agency has alleged that Mahendru was involved in the conspiracy from the beginning, in collusion with others, and was actively driving the key agenda points in the excise policy of 2021-’22 while the drafting stage to frame excise policy favourable to him.