Delhi Excise Scam: Court Extends Businessman’s ED Custody by Three Days

A court here on Monday extended by three days the ED custody of Hyderabad-based businessman Arun Ramchandra Pillai in a money-laundering case related to the alleged Delhi excise policy scam.

Special Judge M K Nagpal passed the order on an application moved by the Enforcement Directorate which claimed his further custody was required to unearth the larger conspiracy behind the “scam” and trace the money trail.

The agency produced Pillai before the court on expiry of his six-day ED remand.

The agency also said Pillai was a close associate of K Kavita, a Telangana legislator and daughter of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, and he was required to be confronted with the other accused in the case.

The court, meanwhile, adjourned for March 16 the arguments on an application filed by Pillai accusing the ED of forging his statements.

During the proceedings, the agency, represented by Special Public Prosecutor N K Matta, opposed the application, claiming the allegations made by Pillai were unfounded.

In the application moved before the court on Friday, Pillai’s lawyer sought to retract the statements that he was claimed to have recorded before the agency.

The accused claimed the ED forced him to sign two documents that it said represented his statements, including one in November 2022.

The court had directed the ED to file a reply to his application.

Pillai was arrested on March 6 following his day-long questioning by ED officials.

The ED had earlier arrested former Delhi deputy chief minister and AAP leader Manish Sisodia in the case and his remand will end on March 17.

The ED arrested Sisodia in Tihar jail last Thursday. He was lodged there in a related case being probed by the CBI in connection with alleged corruption in the formulation and implementation of the now-scrapped liquor policy for 2021-22.

The ED’s money-laundering case stems from the CBI FIR.

The excise policy was scrapped in August last year and the Delhi lieutenant governor subsequently asked the CBI to probe the alleged irregularities and corruption involving government authorities and liquor traders, among others.

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