Excise Policy: Delhi HC seeks ED stand on bail plea of Hyderabad-based businessman

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought the stand of the Enforcement Directorate on a bail plea by Hyderabad-based businessman Arun Ramchandra Pillai in a money laundering case related to the alleged Delhi excise policy scam.

Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma issued the notice to the federal investigation agency and asked it to file its response.

Pillai was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the matter on March 6.

Advocate Nitesh Rana, appearing for the accused, argued that there was no iota of evidence to keep him in jail.

On June 8, a trial court here had dismissed Pillai’s plea for bail, saying his role was more serious than that of some other accused who are still in jail and that prima facie, the ED’s case was genuine.

Pillai was not only a participant in the “conspiracy” but prima facie, he was also found to have been connected with different activities related to the proceeds, including its concealment, possession, acquisition or use and projecting it as untainted property, the trial court had said.

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The ED has claimed in its charge sheet filed in the case that Pillai was a close associate of Bharat Rashtra Samithi MLC K Kavitha.

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

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

The Delhi government had implemented the excise policy on November 17, 2021, but scrapped it at the end of September 2022 amid allegations of corruption.

The matter would be heard next on November 3.

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