Court extends ED custody of Arun Pillai till 20 March; fresh notices for Magunta Srinivasulu, Butchibabu

The ED told the court that it collected information from Pillai about transactions carried out in hotels with the help of seized documents.

BySouth First Desk

Published Mar 17, 2023 | 2:44 AMUpdatedMar 17, 2023 | 2:44 AM

The ED's custody of Arun Pillai has been extended till 20 March. (Twitter)

The Rouse Avenue Court in New Delhi on Thursday, 16 March, extended the Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody of Hyderabad-based businessman Arun Ramachandran Pillai till 20 March.

The court said the move was meant to enable investigators to elicit more information from him in connection with the Delhi liquor scam case.

It gave orders to this effect in response to a petition filed by the ED after producing Pillai before the court following the completion of his three-day custody.

Since it issued a notice to BRS MLC K Kavitha to appear before it on 20 March, the ED might question both Kavitha and Pillai together in connection with the scam, sources said.

Pillai’s custody extension

The ED informed the court that it collected information from Pillai about the transactions carried out in hotels with the help of documents collected by investigators.

Moreover, the questioning of those involved in the scam with the help of eyewitnesses was yet to be completed, the probe agency said in court.

Kavitha, who was supposed to appear before the ED on Thursday, did not attend as she sid she was waiting for her plea to be heard by the Supreme Court on 24 March.

In order to question her, the extension of custody of Pillai was crucial. After hearing the arguments, the court extended the ED custody.

Also read: Arun Pillai files seeks permission to withdraw ED statement 

ED issues more notices

Meanwhile, the ED also issued separate notices to YSRCP MP Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy and chartered accountant Gorantla Butchibabu, asking them to appear before it on 17 and 18 March, respectively.

Reddy and Butchibabu might also be questioned in the presence of Pillai.

Reddy’s son Raghav Magunta is currently in judicial remand: The ED arrested him in the same case.

According to the ED, the entire conspiracy was orchestrated by Vijay Nair, a representative of former Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia and other AAP leaders, along with the South Group — comprising of pharma company director Sarath Reddy, Srinivasulu Reddy, Raghav Magunta, and K Kavitha.

In the remand of Sisodia, who was arrested a few days ago, the ED said that Kavitha was represented by Pillai, beauty salon chain owner Abhishek Boinpally and CA Butchibabu.

Also read: ED gives more details of South Group role in Delhi liquor scam