Excise policy “scam”: Delhi HC extends till Jan 4 interim bail to accused bizman Arun Pillai in ED case

The Delhi High Court on Thursday extended till January 4 the interim bail granted to Hyderabad businessman Arun Ramchandra Pillai, arrested in a money laundering case related to the alleged Delhi excise scam, due to his wife’s illness.

A vacation bench of Justice Neena Bansal Krishna issued notice to the Enforcement Directorate on Pillai’s application and directed that copies of the relevant medical documents be given to the counsel for the anti-money laundering agency for verification.

“The interim bail granted vide Order dated 18.12.2023 is hereby extended till the next date of hearing. List before the Roster Bench on 04.01.2024,” the court ordered.

On December 18, the trial court had given a two-week interim bail to Pillai, after he said his wife has to undergo a surgical procedure.

Senior advocate Mohit Mathur and lawyer Nitesh Rana, appearing for Pillai, urged the high court to extend his interim bail as, after being discharged, his wife has developed further complications.

Pillai was arrested by the ED on March 6 following allegations that he represented the “South Group” at meetings with other accused when the 2021 excise policy was being formulated and implemented.

The excise policy was scrapped last year after the Delhi lieutenant governor ordered a CBI probe into alleged irregularities and corruption involving its formulation and execution.

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

It has alleged that the “South Group” paid kickbacks of 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.

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