A Delhi court on Friday, 2 June, asked the CBI to provide copies of documents, including charge sheet and supplementary charge sheet, to AAP leader Manish Sisodia, Butchibabu Gorantla, ex-CA of BRS MLC K Kavitha, and two other accused.
The other two accused are liquor trader Amandeep Singh Dhall and private person Arjun Pandey.
Posted for further proceedings
Special Judge MK Nagpal gave the directions when Sisodia was produced before him via video conferencing as the court had issued summons to him after it took cognisance of a supplementary charge sheet filed by the CBI in the case on 27 May.
The court posted the matter for further proceedings on 6 July.
Sisodia was arrested by the CBI on 26 February in connection with alleged corruption in the formulation and implementation of the now-scrapped Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22.
The CBI filed its first charge sheet in the case against seven accused on 25 November last year. The court took cognisance of the charge sheet on 15 December.
It filed the supplementary charge sheet against Sisodia, Gorantla, Dhall and Pandey on 25 April.
The agency invoked Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 201 (destruction of evidence/giving false information) and 420 (cheating) besides provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act against the four accused.
Butchibabu turned approver
Earlier, in the last week of April, Hyderabad-based chartered accountant (CA) Butchibabu Gorantla had turned approver in the case.
He became the second person to become an approver in the case after businessman Dinesh Arora, the man who allegedly coordinated the payment of the alleged kickbacks, according to the CBI.
Butchibabu allegedly acted as a representative on behalf of a politician from Telangana in the so-called South Group — comprising Kavitha, YSRCP MP Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy, his son Magunta Raghava, and others.
The South Group allegedly played a key role in formulating the Delhi liquor policy to their advantage.
On 1 June, Hyderabad-based industrialist P Sarath Chandra Reddy also turned approver in a case pertaining to the Delhi liquor scam.
Delhi Excise Policy case
A few days ago, the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is investigating the Delhi liquor scam, once again referred to BRS MLC Kavitha in a new supplementary charge sheet against former Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, filed at the Rouse Avenue Court in New Delhi.
Her name appeared several times in the charge sheet.
The charge sheet specifically mentioned the charges related to Sisodia, apart from referring to Kavitha for the same aspects that were raised in the previous charge sheets.
The ED informed the court that it questioned 51 people in connection with the case and added that all the details of those who were questioned were mentioned in the charge sheet.
The case was registered on 17 August, 2022, against the ex-deputy chief minister, who was in charge as excise minister of GNCTD, and 14 others for an investigation into the matter of alleged irregularities in framing and implementation of excise policy for the year 2021-22 and extending post-tender benefits to private persons.
Searches were also conducted at the premises of the accused at several locations, including in Delhi, Gurugram, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Bengaluru, etc, which led to the recovery of incriminating documents/articles and digital records, the CBI said.
During the investigation, Manish Sisodia and a few others were arrested.
Among those in custody are Hyderabad businessmen Abhishek Boinpally and Arun Ramachandra Pillai, and Vijay Nair, the former communications in-charge of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which is in power in Delhi, who is alleged to have coordinated the whole scam.
Timeline of events
Earlier, a charge sheet was filed on 25 November, 2022, against the then-CEO of a Mumbai-based private company and six others, including the then-deputy commissioner (Excise), GNCTD, and then-assistant commissioner (Excise), GNCTD.
On 8 February, 2023, the CBI arrested Butchibabu for his alleged role in the formulation and implementation of the Delhi Excise Policy, thereby causing wrongful gain to Hyderabad-based wholesale and retail licenses and their beneficial owners under the Delhi Excise Policy for the year 2021-22.
Butchibabu is one of the close associates of BRS MLC K Kavitha — daughter of Telangana Chief Minister and BRS supremo K Chandrashekar Rao — whose name was also figured in the case.
He had earlier worked as Kavitha’s chartered accountant.
In September 2022, CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials raided Butchibabu’s house at Aravind Nagar in Domalguda, his apartment at Sri Saikrishna Residency, and his office was also searched. Several files and documents from various companies were found.
(With PTI inputs)