ANI Photo | Excise case: Delhi Court seeks ED’s response on Arun Pillai’s bail plea

Hyderabad-based businessman Arun Ramachandran Pillai has moved a bail petition in Rouse Avenue Court in connection with the alleged Excise Policy Scam.
Special Judge MK Nagpal has sought a response from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on the bail plea and listed the matter for May 10.
Recently, the ED has filed a supplementary complaint in the alleged liquor scam case, against businessmen Amandeep Dhall and Arun Ramachandran Pillai.
The chargesheet stated that Pillai has given false statements u/s 50 of PMLA, 2002 during the investigation.
“Arun Pillai has actively participated in evidence destruction and has changed/used/destroyed five mobile phones in the span of two years. The phones used by Arun Pillai during the period of the scam have not been produced by him during the investigation,” ED stated.
Further, the chats with Pillai found from other persons’ phones have not been found from his phones which were seized during the search that is because Arun Pillai has indulged in the destruction of evidence, the chargesheet stated.
Pillai has attempted to create a legal facade by allegedly filing a retraction of all his statements during the period of investigation given u/s 50 of PMLA. This act of Pillai is only to create a legal facade and is motivated to derail the investigation, the agency further stated.
In the ED case, Businessman Amandeep Singh Dhal was arrested on March 1 and Hyderabad-based businessman Pillai was arrested on March 6, 2023.

Pillai a Hydrabad-based businessman was arrested by ED for allegations that he collected bribes from another accused, Sameer Mahendru, managing director of lndospirit and handed it over to the other accused.
The prosecution complaint stated that in September 2021, there was a meeting in Taj Mansingh. A few days before this dinner, Pernod had confirmed to Indo Spirits. So, this dinner was to acknowledge this wholesale distribution relationship that was established. Sarath and MSR were also congratulated for winning retail zones in Delhi.
The agency further said that Sameer Mahendru had met BRS leader K Kavitha in early 2022 in Hyderabad at her house. In this meeting, Sameer, Sarath, AP, AB, Kavitha and her husband Anil were present.
“In that meeting, Kavitha said to Sameer that Arun is like family to her and doing business with Arun is doing business with Kavitha. She also said that they will take this relationship to a larger scale in multiple states and expand majorly. Kavitha asked about the issues that Indo Spirits LI was facing in the first few months of operations and Sh Sameer briefed her about those,” the agency stated.
The ED chargesheet has also mentioned that Sameer Mahendru told K Kavitha, that Vijay Nair was an important person in the AAP and managing the Excise policy issues in Delhi.
The ED and the CBI have alleged that irregularities were committed while modifying the Excise Policy, undue favours were extended to licence holders, the licence fee was waived or reduced and the L-1 licence was extended without the competent authority’s approval.
The beneficiaries diverted “illegal” gains to the accused officials and made false entries in their books of account to evade detection.
As alleged, the Excise Department had decided to refund the Earnest Money Deposit of about Rs 30 crore to a successful tenderer against the set rules. Even though there was no enabling provision, a waiver on tendered licence fees was allowed from December 28, 2021, to January 27, 2022, due to COVID-19.
This allegedly caused a loss of Rs 144.36 crore to the exchequer, which has been instituted on a reference from the Union Home Ministry following a recommendation from Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena.

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