Delhi Excise ‘Scam’: Court Extends Interim Bail of Liquor Businessman Sameer Mahendru

A Delhi court has extended the interim bail granted to liquor businessman Sameer Mahendru on medical grounds in a money laundering case related to alleged irregularities in the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy.

Special Judge M K Nagpal granted the relief for a week after the Enforcement Directorate said it needed time to reply to the application seeking extension of the bail. ED’s Special Public Prosecutor N K Matta told the court that the agency has emailed all medical documents of the accused to the doctors/hospitals concerned, but some of the reports are still awaited.

“In view of the above and as requested, the application is now directed to be listed on April 5. However, in view of the submissions made in application, it is being directed that interim bail granted to the accused by this court vide order dated February 28, 2023 shall stand extended till then,” the judge said in an order passed on March 29.

On February 28, the court granted interim bail to Mahendru on medical grounds for a period of 30 days after he claimed he was suffering from various ailments.

According to the prosecution, the accused was one of the major beneficiaries of the violations of the excise policy as he was not only running an alcoholic beverage manufacturing unit but also given a wholesale licence along with some retail licences in the name of his relatives.

Because of the alleged irregularities and violations, Mahendru made around Rs 50 crore, the prosecution claimed.

The ED has registered an enforcement case information report (ECIR) against Mahendru under the relevant provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The money laundering case stems from a CBI FIR.

According to the CBI and the ED, irregularities were committed while modifying the excise policy and undue favours were extended to licence holders. The Delhi government implemented the policy on November 17, 2021, but scrapped it at the end of September 2022 amid allegations of corruption.

Former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia is also an accused in the matter.

On March 9, the ED arrested Sisodia at Tihar jail, where he was lodged in connection with the case being probed by the CBI. The CBI arrested the Aam Aadmi Party leader on February 26.

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