Excise policy ‘scam’: SC issues notice to ED on businessman Abhishek Boinpally’s plea challenging legality of arrest

The Supreme Court on Friday sought the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) response on a plea moved by businessman Abhishek Boinpally, who has been arrested in a money-laundering case related to the alleged Delhi excise policy scam, challenging the legality of his arrest by the agency.

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and S V N Bhatti issued a notice to the ED and sought the agency’s reply by November 20.

The court was hearing Boinpally’s plea against a Delhi High Court order that dismissed his plea challenging the legality of his arrest.

Boinpally had challenged his arrest before the high court on the ground of non-compliance of section 19 of the Prevention of Money Laundering (PMLA), which deals with the procedure for arrest.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing in the court on behalf of Boinpally, referred to a recent apex court judgment and said the ED must furnish the reasons of arrest to the accused in writing.

The top court said it will take up the matter along with Boinpally’s bail plea, in which a notice was issued on August 11, on the next date of hearing.

The Delhi government had implemented the excise policy for 2021-22 on November 17, 2021, but scrapped it at the end of September 2022 amid allegations of corruption.

According to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the ED, irregularities were committed while modifying the excise policy and undue favours extended to the licence holders.

The money-laundering case stems from the CBI FIR, which was lodged after Delhi Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena recommended a probe into the alleged irregularities in the implementation of the excise policy.

It has been claimed that Boinpally was part of clandestine meetings and was involved in a conspiracy to launder money along with another accused, Sameer Mahendru, a businessman dealing in liquor.

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