The Ministry of Home Affairs Monday suspended former Delhi excise commissioner Arava Gopi Krishna and former Deputy excise commissioner Anand Kumar Tiwari, after they were named in the CBI FIR in the alleged scam in the formulation and implementation of the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22. Their suspension was recommended by L-G VK Saxena, after a vigilance report said both officers had allegedly worked to give undue benefits to liquor licencees in the city.
The CBI Monday questioned a liquor distributor and an alleged middleman in connection with its probe. Sources identified them as Sameer Mahendru, Managing Director of Indospirit Group, and Arun Ramchandra Pillay, a Karnataka resident accused of moving money.
On Sunday, the agency had opened lookout circulars (LoCs) against the two men among eight of those accused in the case. A total of 15 people and entities stand accused in the case including Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and top excise officials.
How it started
The probe into Delhi’s liquor policy started with a report prepared by the Delhi Chief Secretary in July. The report alleged undue benefits, in the form of waivers among other things, were granted to liquor licencees. Based on this, the L-G recommended a CBI probe in the matter.
LoCs have been opened against Vijay Nair, CEO of event management company Only Much Louder; Amandeep Dhal, Director of Brindco Sales Pvt Ltd; Sameer Mahendru, Managing Director of Indospirit Group; Amit Arora, Director of Buddy Retail Pvt Ltd; Dinesh Arora, associated with Radha Industries; Sunny Mar-wah; authorised signatory of Mahadev Liquors; Arun Ramch-andra Pillay, a Karnataka resident accused of moving money; and Arjun Pandey, an alleged middleman. Vijay Nair and Dinesh Arora are already said to be abroad.
CBI sources said the agency has also not opened an LoC against Manoj Rai, former employee of liquor giant Pernod Ricard. Rai in a public statement had said he was not absconding and would cooperate with the probe.