The Enforcement Directorate on Friday mentioned several names before the Delhi Rouse Avenue Court as it sought a 10-day remand for Manish Sisodia, the former Delhi deputy chief minister arrested on charges of money laundering linked to the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy or liquor policy case.
The ED has accused Sisodia of being part of the “money laundering nexus” that conspired with the framing of the excise policy and that there are enough statements and evidence against him. The agency also alleged that Sisodia destroyed his phone and other evidence, and used phones purchased in the names of other people.
The probe agency has also alleged the involvement of Sisodia’s aide and AAP communication-in-charge Vijay Nair who, according to them, was the key coordinator of the ‘scam’. The ED also named Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekhar Rao’s daughter K Kavitha in the case, establishing a link between the two governments, as well as her former auditor Butchibabu Gorantla, whose statement they disclosed in the court today.
Here’s all you need to know about who’s who in Delhi’s liquor policy case:
Vijay Nair is a reputed businessman in the entertainment and event management industry. He is the former CEO of Only Much Louder (OML), the company behind the popular indie music concerts NH7 Weekender.
Nair, who is also the Aam Aadmi Party’s communication-in-charge, was arrested by the ED in connection with the excise policy money laundering case. He is currently lodged in Tihar Jail.
Earlier, the CBI had also quizzed and arrested Nair but he was granted bail by the court.
A well-known name in Delhi’s food industry, Dinesh Arora is the managing director of several restaurants including Chica Delhi, Unplugged Courtyard and La Roca Aerocity, his Instagram handle states.
He is also the director of Radha Industries, according to the CBI, and a close aide of Manish Sisodia. The CBI has alleged that he “was actively involved in managing and diverting the undue pecuniary advantage collected from certain liquor licenses to the public servants.”
KCR’s daughter and Bharatiya Rashtra Samithi leader K Kavitha came under the scanner of the federal agencies following the arrest of Hyderabad-based businessman Arun Ramchandran Pillai, the alleged frontman of the “South Group”, which was behind the Rs 100 crore payoffs to AAP functionaries, according to the ED.
The ED claims that Kavitha was well aware of the alleged conspiracy and played the role of an instructor in it. The CBI had earlier questioned her over changing cell phone devices several times recently.
Kavitha is set to appear before the ED for questioning on Saturday.
Butchibabu Gorantla is a Hyderabad-based chartered accountant and the former auditor of K Kavitha.
He was questioned by the ED in connection with the excise policy case. The ED disclosed his statement in court today that “there was a political understanding between then Deputy CM Manish Sisodia and K Kavitha who also met Vijay Nair.”
Hyderabad-based businessman Arun Pillai was part of the “South Group” that allegedly sent ‘kickbacks’ worth ₹100 crore to the AAP leaders. A close aide of Kavitha, he was also referred to as the frontman of the liquor manufacturing group Indospirits by the ED, according to reports.
According to the agency, out of ₹68 crore profit that Indospirits earned through alleged cartelisation, about ₹29 crore was transferred to Pillai's accounts.
Pillai had on Friday moved an application before the Delhi court seeking to retract his statements given to the ED.
He was arrested on Monday under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in connection with the Delhi liquor policy case.