Delhi excise ‘scam’: Court to pass order on Arun Pillai’s interim bail plea on December 18

A court here will decide on December 18 whether to grant interim bail to Hyderabad-based businessman Arun Ramchandra Pillai, arrested in a money-laundering case related to the alleged Delhi excise scam, on the ground of his wife’s medical condition.

Special Judge M K Nagpal, who reserved the order on Friday after hearing arguments on the application, also extended the custody parole granted to Pillai till Monday.

“This application (for interim bail) is directed to be listed for consideration/orders on December 18, 2023 at 2.30 pm. It is being directed that custody parole of A (accused)-26 (Pillai) granted vide order December 7, 2023 and subsequently extended on December 13, 2023 shall stand further extended till December 18, 2023,” the judge said.

Advocate Nitesh Rana, appearing in the court on behalf of Pillai, had sought interim bail for the accused for 12 weeks, claiming that his wife was required to undergo surgery and that he needed to be “physically present” with her for “moral support” when she undergoes the medical procedure.

Rana had urged for an extension of the custody parole period, claiming that if the accused was brought back to Delhi, “it will defeat the purpose of grant of custody parole and also, render the pending interim bail application of the accused as infructuous”.

The court had, on Wednesday, extended the custody parole granted to Pillai by three days, noting that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had failed to file a reply to his interim bail plea.

The ED had claimed that Pillai is a close aide of Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) MLC K Kavitha, daughter of former Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao, and the front man of the “South Group” liquor cartel.

It has been alleged that the “South Group” paid kickbacks amounting to around Rs 100 crore to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to gain a larger share of the liquor market in the national capital under the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy for 2021-22.

Pillai was arrested by the ED on March 6 amid allegations that he represented the “South Group” at meetings with other accused persons when the excise policy was being formulated and implemented.

The excise policy was scrapped in August last year after the Delhi lieutenant governor ordered a CBI probe into alleged irregularities and corruption in it.

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