Delhi Excise case: ED arrests Amit Arora, Director of Buddy Retail Pvt Ltd

30 November, 2022 | Vaishali Sharma

Excise Policy Top News

According to reports, the Enforcement Directorate has detained Amit Arora, Director of Buddy Retail Pvt Ltd, in connection with the suspected Delhi Excise Policy fraud.

According to reports, the Enforcement Directorate has detained Amit Arora, Director of Buddy Retail Pvt Ltd, in connection with the suspected Delhi Excise Policy fraud.

The agency is set to present Arora before a special court here later today and request his detention in connection with its ongoing investigation into the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22 money laundering case.

Arora’s name is named as an accused in both the ED and the CBI investigations, along with Dinesh Arora, another director of Buddy Retail Pvt Ltd. Manish Sisodia, the then-Excise Commissioner Arva Gopi Krishna, Deputy Commissioner Anand Tiwari, and Assistant Commissioner Pankaj Bhatnagar are among the other suspects.

Manoj Rai, a former employee of Pernod Ricard; Amandeep Dhal, director of Brindco Sales; authorised signatories of Mahadev Liquors Sunny Marwah, Arun Ramchandra Pillai and Arjun Pandey are some more accused in the case.

The agency’s move comes days after the agency filed its first chargesheet before a court in the national capital in the Delhi excise policy money laundering case naming liquor businessman Sameer Mahandru as one of the accused.

The agency said it has so far undertaken 169 search operations in this case, filed after taking cognisance of a CBI FIR which was registered on the recommendation of the Delhi Lieutenant Governor.

The CBI inquiry was recommended on the findings of the Delhi chief secretary’s report filed in July showing prima facie violations of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) Act 1991, Transaction of Business Rules (ToBR)-1993, Delhi Excise Act-2009, and Delhi Excise Rules-2010, officials had said.

A total of five people have been arrested by the ED in this case till now, excluding Arora. Mahandru was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on September 27 following his questioning.

In October, the ED had raided nearly three dozen locations in Delhi and Punjab following the arrest of Sameer Mahendru, Managing Director of Delhi’s Jor Bagh-based liquor distributor Indospirit Group, in the case.

The CBI too filed its first charge sheet in the case early this week.
The ED and the CBI have alleged that irregularities were committed while modifying the Excise Policy, undue favours were extended to licence holders, the licence fee was waived or reduced and the L-1 licence was extended without the competent authority’s approval. The beneficiaries diverted “illegal” gains to the accused officials and made false entries in their books of account to evade detection.

An alleged, the Excise Department had decided to refund the Earnest Money Deposit of about Rs 30 crore to a successful tenderer against the set rules. Even though there was no enabling provision, a waiver on tendered licence fee was allowed from December 28, 2021, to January 27, 2022, due to COVID-19.

This allegedly resulted in a loss of Rs 144.36 crore to the exchequer, which was instituted on a recommendation from Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena and a reference from the Union Home Ministry.