A close aide of Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia will turn an approver in excise policy case, the CBI informed a special court on Monday.
The development is seen as a major setback for the AAP leader and the party.
The Court would decide on the petition moved by the CBI and Dinesh Arora, close aide of Sisodia, whether to grant him pardon and allow him to turn an approver in the case, on 14 November.
While a statement of Arora has already been recorded under section 164 of Criminal Procedure Code (confessional statement before a magistrate), his disclosure statement is also likely to be recorded before the court on 14 November.
During the hearing, Arora told the court that he was ready to make "true disclosure voluntarily" about the case.
According to the CBI FIR, Arora has been accused by the CBI of receiving a bribe of Rs 1 crore from a liquor manufacturer on behalf of Sisodia.
On a query from the court, Arora made it clear that "there is no pressure or threats by the CBI or anyone else". His counsel also moved an application for in-camera proceedings, saying it is a sensitive matter and the media should be kept out at this early stage, a move which was also not opposed by the CBI.
The court had earlier granted anticipatory bail to Arora after the probe agency did not oppose the bail plea.
The CBI, in its reply to the anticipatory bail plea, had stated that Arora joined the investigation and disclosed certain facts which were vital for the probe and hence, "the CBI has no objection if the anticipatory bail is granted to the applicant by this court".
Besides Sisodia, who holds excise portfolio, the CBI has named the then excise commissioner Arava Gopi Krishna, the then deputy excise commissioner Anand Kumar Tiwari, assistant excise commissioner Pankaj Bhatnagar, nine businessmen and two companies, as accused in the case.
The agency has 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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