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Delhi excise policy case: ED gets three-day remand of accused Vinod Chauhan

New Delhi: The Rouse Avenue Court on Saturday sent the arrested accused Vinod Chauhan to three days of the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) custody in connection with the alleged money laundering case linked to Delhi excise policy.
The ED made a fresh arrest in the case on Friday and took a man identified as Vinod Chauhan into custody.
He was arrested by the ED for allegedly transferring a cash bribe amount from South Group to the election campaign of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) during the Goa Assembly Elections.
The Special Judge Kaveri Baweja on Saturday after going through the submissions decided to send Chauhan to ED remand till May 7, 2024.
According to the ED, Vinod Chauhan was arrested yesterday at 7:20 pm from Goa's ED Zonal Office. He was involved in the transfer of the amount of Rs. 25.5 crores out of Rs. 45 crores which was used in the AAP Goa elections.
Appearing for ED, Advocates Zoheb Hossain and Naveen Kumar Matta submitted that Chauhan was aware of the fact that the money was related to the Delhi liquor excise policy scam and was in deep nexus with the key conspirators. He is primarily involved in Hawala transfers and cash movements and also acted as a middleman for bureaucrats and politicians, ED alleged
It was also stated that searches were conducted at various locations and Rs. 1.06 crores was seized from his residence. The agency claimed that he knew the amount of Rs. 1.06 crores was from the South Group and was holding it for AAP leaders.
While seeking custody for four days ED stated that they need to unearth the money trail which is exclusive to his knowledge and confront with digital and material records and with other accused and witnesses.
During the hearing, Advocate Gagan Manocha appeared for Chauhan opposed the remand plea of ED and submitted that he has been cooperating with the probe and audit reports have been already given to the agency regarding the amount seized by the ED.
In the Excise case, 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 the 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, the probe agencies said.
As per the allegations, the excise department had decided to refund the earnest money deposit of about Rs 30 crore to a successful tenderer against the set rules.
Even though there was no enabling provision, a waiver on tendered licence fees was allowed from December 28, 2021, to January 27, 2022, due to COVID-19, the probe agency said and there was an alleged loss of Rs 144.36 crore to the exchequer.

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