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Delhi excise case: ED gets further remand of Hyderabad businessman Arun Ramchandra Pillai

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday got remand of Hyderabad-based businessman Arun Ramchandra Pillai till March 20, in connection with its ongoing probe in Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22 money laundering case.

The Special Judge MK Nagpal on Thursday allowed further ED remand of Arun Ramchandra Pillai. The court noted that certain new details have come to light as per ED, after a confrontation with Hyderabad-based chartered accountant Butchibabu Gorantla on March 15. Court further noted ED submissions that, these confrontations are not yet over as the same person has been re-summoned for March 17.

Butchibabu Gorantla is the former auditor of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao's daughter MLC K Kavitha whose name surfaced in the case.

K Kavitha was summoned by ED on Thursday, but she did not turn up and instead sent certain documents through her authorised representatives. Pillai requires to be shown these documents as well, ED informed.
Magunta Reddy was also summoned on March 18. Pillai needs to be confronted with him, said the central agency in Court.
ED informed the court that Kavitha has been called in on March 20.
ED further informed the court that it issued a summons to Butchibabu to confront Pillai. Butchibabu was recently granted bail by the same court in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) case.

Advocate Manu Sharma appearing for Pillai opposed the further remand plea of ED and submitted that such confrontations of the accused are a never-ending process. He was questioned several times and gave statements, Advocate Shram told the court.

Pillai was arrested on March 6, 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 ED in the same case. Sisodia is presently on the ED remand.

The Enforcement Directorate has recently arrested liquor businessman Amandeep Dhall in connection with the Delhi excise policy case. The Court on Thursday 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.
Last month, the agency arrested Punjab-based businessman Gautam Malhotra, son of former Shiromani Akali Dal MLA Deep Malhotra, in the case.

ED last year filed its first chargesheet before Delhi Court in the 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 last, 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 later.
The ED and the CBI had alleged that irregularities were committed while modifying the Excise Policy, undue favours were extended to licence holders, the 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)

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