Delhi excise policy ‘scam’ conspiracy by big leaders of AAP, Kavitha, YSRCP MP: ED charge sheet

New Delhi: The alleged Delhi excise policy scam was a “conspiracy” by some of the big political leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the ‘South group’ comprising BRS leader K Kavitha, YSR Congress MP M Srinivasulu Reddy and others who “used” proxies to conceal their involvement, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has claimed in its latest charge sheet filed in the case.

A local court took cognisance of this prosecution complaint, filed by the ED on April 27.

“The scam included conspiracy hatched by government functionaries and political leadership cutting across states and payment of bribes to get undue favours,” the federal agency said.

“The main arm of the entire Delhi liquor scam rests on the conspiracy orchestrated by the top leaders of AAP through Vijay Nair on one hand and the South Group which consisted of Raghav Magunta, Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy, Sarath Reddy and K Kavitha on the other hand.”

Also Read

Delhi excise policy case: ED names Raghav Chadha in supplementary chargesheet

Raghav is YSRCP Ongole MP Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy’s son.

“They (South group) were represented by Arun Pillai, Abhishek Boinpally and Buchi Babu,” the agency alleged.

In this conspiracy, it added, some of the big political leaders of various political parties have been found to be involved by using “proxies, dummies and web of exchanges/transactions to conceal their involvement”.

“On one hand it is Manish Sisodia (AAP leader and former Delhi deputy chief minister) and other top leaders of AAP and Vijay Nair who was working under the overall guidance and sanction of Manish Sisodia,” the ED said.

The agency has arrested a dozen people in this case till now including Sisodia, Nair (AAP communication in-charge), Raghav Magunta, and businessmen Reddy, Pillai and Boinpally. It has questioned and recorded the statement of Kavitha and Buchi Babu, alleged to be her accountant.

The agency has furnished a statement of Buchi Babu, recorded under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on March 28, in which he said that he bought a property from Srihari of Phoenix Group in the name of Engrowth Capital.

“D R Anilkumar, husband of Kavitha, was also a partner in this firm (Engrowth Capital). This firm has bought this land at a much-discounted rate from the market because K Kavitha is a big politician in Telangana.

“Similarly, K Kavitha has bought another property of 25,000 sqft from Srihari and Buchi Babu coordinated this paperwork on the directions of K Kavitha,” he told the ED.

“The market value of this property was Rs 1,760 per sqft while she only paid RS 1,260 per sqft. This was done by Srihari for K Kavitha because she is a big politician,” the ED quoted his statement.

Kavitha, the MLC daughter of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, has denied any wrongdoing. The AAP too has called these charges politically motivated.

The ED also appended the statement of Arun Pillai, who is alleged to be the representative of Kavitha in the ‘South Group’, where he said that “in exchange of the kickbacks paid by K Kavitha to the AAP leaders, she got partnership stakes in Indo Spirits (an accused company in this case with its promoter being Sameer Mahandru)…”.

“The amount of kickbacks paid was Rs 100 crore for this deal,” Pillai told the ED.

“The excise policy scam has multiple branches which involved numerous business entities, persons, groups, key government functionaries and a number of middlemen.

“The scam included conspiracy hatched by government functionaries and political leadership cutting across states and payment of bribes to get undue favours.”

“The scam initiated with the drafting of the excise policy of 2021-22 by the AAP leaders, specifically by Manish Sisodia with an objective of generating illegal funds followed by a nexus/understanding between key players of the South Group and Manish Sisodia and thereafter managed by Vijay Nair, who is a representative of AAP, payment of advance kickbacks from the former to the latter in exchange of undue favours,” the ED said.

This was followed by the usage of seemingly simple business entities for the ulterior motive of recouping and recovering the kickbacks paid, it said.

Another aspect, it claimed in the charge sheet, of the scam involved various entities involved in a conspiracy to form cartels to increase their profits illegally and in violation of the principles/objectives of the Excise policy 2021-22.

It is alleged that the Delhi government’s excise policy for 2021-22 to grant licences to liquor traders allowed cartelisation and favoured certain dealers who had paid bribes for it, a charge strongly refuted by the AAP.

The policy was subsequently scrapped and the Delhi lieutenant governor recommended a CBI probe, following which the ED registered the case under the PMLA.

(Except for the headline, the story has not been edited by Siasat staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)