Excise ‘scam’ case: Arun Pillai moves High Court against framing of charges till CBI concludes probe

Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma sought the stand of the probe agency on the petition and listed it for further hearing on 3 May.


Published Apr 25, 2024 | 7:22 PM Updated Apr 25, 2024 | 7:22 PM

Arun Ramachandra Pillai was arrested by the ED under the claim that he was among the three key representatives of BRS MLC K Kavitha. (Sourced)

Hyderabad businessman Arun Ramchandra Pillai, accused in the alleged excise policy scam, on Thursday, 25 April, petitioned the Delhi High Court to set aside a trial court order dismissing his plea against the commencement of arguments on the charge till the conclusion of an investigation by the CBI.

Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma sought the stand of the probe agency on the petition and listed it for further hearing on 3 May.

Pillai, who was represented by advocate Nitesh Rana, assailed the trial court order passed on 22 March, contending that until the investigation has concluded, the CBI could include more accused in the case and therefore any consideration on the aspect of framing of charges should be deferred.

Also Read: Excise policy scam: Kavitha, Kejriwal in judicial custody till 7 May

‘Trial court order is arbitrary’

He has said in the petition that the trial court order dismissing his application was arbitrary, illegal and violative of his fundamental and legal rights.

“FIR was registered on 17.08.2022 and even after the lapse of more than 15 months, the same is still not concluded and now the prosecution under the garb of ‘expeditious trial’ cannot be permitted to prejudice the present Petitioner/ Applicant,” the petition said.

“One of the offences alleged against the Petitioner/Applicant is the offence of criminal conspiracy punishable u/s. 120-B IPC and thus, if any further statement of any witness is recorded u/s 161 CrPC by the prosecution and/or any document is collected during further investigation, the prosecution would, in all probability, rely upon the same much to the detriment of the present applicant,” it added.

The case pertains to the alleged corruption in formulating and executing the Delhi government’s excise policy for 2021-22 which was later scrapped.

Pillai is on bail in the present case.

He was arrested by the ED on 6 March in the related money laundering case following allegations that he represented the “South Group” at meetings with other accused when the 2021 excise policy was being formulated and implemented and is currently in judicial custody.

The excise policy was scrapped after the Delhi lieutenant governor ordered a CBI probe into alleged irregularities and corruption involving its formulation and execution.

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