On May 2, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) named Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MP Raghav Chadha in its second supplementary chargesheet concerning the Delhi Liquor Scam. However, Raghav Chadha has not been named as an accused.
According to the chargesheet, AAP leader and former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s PA C Arvind told the ED about a meeting held at Manish Sisodia’s residence with Raghav Chadha in attendance. Furthermore, according to C Arvind’s statement, the meeting was also attended by Punjab Excise Commissioner Varun Roojam, accused Vijay Nair and other officers from Punjab Excise Directorate.
Manish Sisodia: The Brain Behind Conspiracy
On April 28, a Delhi Court refused bail to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia in the Enforcement Directorate (ED) case in a money laundering case concering Delhi Liquor Scam. The Court said, “was not only an architect of above criminal conspiracy, but also the brain behind insertion of clauses of 12% profit margin for wholesalers and of enhancement of eligibility criteria for wholesalers from Rs. 100 crores to Rs. 500 crores.”
“Hence, this court is not inclined to grant bail to the applicant in this case of economic offences having serious repercussions upon the general public and society at large as the evidence collected during investigation speaks volumes of his involvement in commission of the said offence,” the Court said.
The Court observed that Manish Sisodia was connected in generation of “proceeds of crime” of around Rs 100 crores as advance kickbacks for insertion of favourable clauses for the benefit of the ‘conspirators.’
“Now, coming back to the present case, it clearly emerges out from the evidence placed before the court that the applicant herein was connected with generation of proceeds of crime of around Rs. 100 crores in the form of advance kickbacks, which were paid by the South lobby to the coaccused Vijay Nair, through the coaccused Abhishek Boinpally, who had been participating in the above said meetings held with different conspirators and stakeholders in liquor business and the said amount was received by him on behalf of this applicant and his other political colleagues for extending undue pecuniary benefits to the conspirators and members of the cartel, which was permitted to be formed by manipulation of some provisions of the excise policy and by insertion of some favourable clauses therein for the benefit of conspirators,” the Court said.
The Court observed, “Further, even the huge profits of around Rs. 192 crores earned by M/S Indospirits as a result of the said cartel and the influence exercised by the applicant in ensuring the grant of L 1 license and dealership of M/S Pernod Ricard to M/S Indospirits can be related to or connected with the acts performed by this applicant, directly or indirectly.”
The Court said, “seriousness or gravity of the offence and its nature or category, the capacity of applicant in which it has been committed, the manner of its commission and also certain other factors like impact of the offence as well as the possible impact of release of applicant on society etc. are the factors which go against the applicant and force this court to decide against his release on bail in the present case.”