A close aide of Deputy Chief Minister and Delhi's Excise Minister, Manish Sisodia, has been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the Delhi liquor scam case.
Amit Arora, a Gurgaon based businessman and director of Buddy Retail Pvt Limited, has been arrested under the criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). This is the sixth arrest in this case by the investigative agency.
As per the chargesheet filed by the CBI, Amit Arora, with two other accused, Dinesh Arora and Arjun Pandey were closely associated with Sisodia. They were actively involved in managing and diverting the undue pecuniary advantage collected from liquor licensees for the accused public servants.
The ED case of money laundering stems from a CBI FIR.
The ED also filed its first chargesheet in the case last week, naming arrested businessman Sameer Mahandru, his company Indospirit, and a few other entities.
Both agencies are expected to file more such complaints before the court, as the investigation progresses.
The CBI has also got Dinesh Arora to turn approver in the case.
Dinesh Arora had recorded his statement under section 164 of CrPC before a magistrate and was granted pardon by a special court for helping in the investigation.
The CBI, after registering a case against 15 people in August, had carried out searches at several places.
The Delhi government faces allegations of granting licences to certain dealers favoured by liquor traders in lieu of the monetary benefit.
It was further alleged that irregularities were committed including in modifications in Excise Policy, extending undue favours to the licensee, waiver/reduction in licence fee, extension of L-1 licence without approval and so on.
Few weeks back, a sting video of Amit Arora talking about the intricacies of the liquor scam, came to the surface. In the video Amit is explaining the manner in which a new Delhi Excise Policy was formulated by liquor barons and private businessmen, including AAP's communication in charge, Vijay Nair.
In the video, he points to a skewed liqour policy that was meant to remove competition in Delhi's liquor market and turn Delhi into an export hub of liquor at the expense of public exchequer.
In its FIR, the CBI has also alleged that Sisodia and other accused public servants recommended and took decisions pertaining to the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22 without the approval of competent authority with an intention to extend undue favours to the licensees post tender.
(with inputs from PTI)
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