Hyderabad-based businessman P. Sarat Chandra Reddy, accused in a money laundering case related to the alleged excise policy scam, has turned approver after getting permission from a Delhi court. It is noteworthy that former Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia is also an accused in this case. After yesterday’s developments in this politically sensitive case, the difficulty of other accused including senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Sisodia may increase.
Reddy gets bail on medical grounds
Special Justice M.K. Nagpal said that Reddy is granted pardon as per the order passed on May 29. The court gave this decision on Reddy’s application, in which he said – I am willing to tell the truth voluntarily and want to become a government witness in this case. It is noteworthy that the Delhi High Court had recently granted bail to Reddy on medical grounds.
Alleged use of force to sign statement
According to the Enforcement Directorate, Reddy heads Hyderabad-based Aurobindo Pharma and is also involved in the liquor business. Reddy had earlier accused the ED of pressurizing and using force to get him to sign written statements without his consent. However, later as the investigation progressed, he said that the allegations leveled by him were baseless. CBI and ED have alleged that irregularities were committed by changing the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22 to benefit the license holders and waived or reduced the license fee, extension of L-1 license without the approval of the competent authority given.
Dinesh Arora is also an official witness in this case.
The ED had earlier told the court that it has ample evidence that the scam was actively planned and hatched by Reddy in connivance with various businessmen and politicians. According to the agency, Reddy was also involved in unethical marketing in order to extract more profit from the Delhi Excise Policy. Significantly, the Central Bureau of Investigation is probing this alleged corruption and Delhi-based businessman Dinesh Arora has also become an approver in this case.
Investigation being done by CBI and ED
Former Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia was the minister of Excise Department during the alleged scam in the year 2021-22. He is also an accused in the case which is being probed by the CBI and ED. At present, Sisodia is in judicial custody. The Enforcement Directorate is probing the alleged money laundering by the accused in the now-cancelled excise policy.