Excise policy: Delhi HC refuses to grant interim bail to businessman Amit Arora in money-laundering case

The Delhi High Court on Friday refused to grant interim bail to businessman Amit Arora in a money-laundering case related to the alleged excise policy scam.

Arora, who was a director of liquor firm Buddy Retail Private Limited, had sought interim bail on the ground of his daughter’s ill health.

In a separate order, the court also refused to extend the duration of the medical examination and treatment of businessman Amandeep Singh Dhall, in custody in the excise policy-related cases being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) at the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre here.

Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma said the current medical condition of Dhall, a director of Brindco Sales who was directed to be admitted at the centre for three weeks last month, was stable and did not necessitate further stay in a hospital.

Dealing with Arora’s plea, the judge said the court is not inclined to grant the relief sought by him and noted that he is allegedly involved in a serious offence and the investigation with respect to the “entire conspiracy” in the matter is yet to be concluded.

The court, however, allowed him to interact with his daughter through video-conferencing from jail in accordance with the rules, while observing that the child has the support of her mother and other family members.

“This court is not inclined to grant interim bail to the accused. Accordingly, the present interim bail application stands dismissed,” the judge ordered.

“This court directs that the jail superintendent concerned shall allow the petitioner to interact with his daughter through video-conferencing facilities, as per the Prison Rules and Manual, for a period of half an hour twice a week on the days of choice and convenience of the petitioner’s daughter, in addition to any special milestone day for the daughter or her birthday…,” it added.

With respect to Dhall’s medical condition, Justice Sharma said the jail authorities shall ensure that he is provided the prescribed treatment and the Jail Hospital Referral Policy is followed in its letter and spirit.

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According to the CBI and ED, irregularities were committed while modifying the now-scrapped Delhi Excise Policy for 2021-22 and undue favours were extended to the licence holders.

It is claimed by the probe agencies that Dhall allegedly conspired with other accused and was “actively” involved in the formulation of the liquor policy and facilitating kickbacks to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), and its recoupment by the “South Group” through various means.

The money-laundering case stems from the CBI FIR.

The excise policy came under the scanner after the Delhi lieutenant governor recommended a CBI probe into alleged irregularities in its implementation.

Former Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, currently lodged in jail, is also an accused in the matter.

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