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Delhi Excise policy: Court extends ED remand of businessman Sameer Mahendru till Oct 10

ANI | Updated: Oct 06, 2022 20:45 IST


New Delhi [India], October 6 (ANI): The Rouse Avenue Court on Thursday extended the Enforcement Directorate (ED) remand of businessman Sameer Mahendru by four days in connection with a money laundering investigation in Delhi Excise policy.
Mahendru is the Managing Director of a company called Indospirits recently arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). He was produced before the court at the end of the remand period guaranteed earlier by the same Court.
Special Judge MK Nagpal on Thursday said, keeping in mind the fact that investigation into a case of money laundering is a complicated affair and it requires a thorough investigation on various aspects of the case, including the money trail and the link between the laundered proceeds of crime and the public servants involved or suspected to be involved in the commission of the alleged offences, the accused is being remanded to the ED custody for a further period of 4 days and he shall be produced before this court now on October 10, 2022 at 2 pm.
Special Public Productor (SPP) Advocate Naveen Kumar Matta appeared for ED while seeking an extension of remand and submitted that though during the ED custody of the accused was granted for a period of 8 days, he has been subjected to detailed custodial interrogation and has also been confronted with some documents seized and electronic data recovered during the course of the investigation, but the process of confrontation is still in progress and he could not be confronted with the entire evidence collected during the investigation.
ED's lawyer further submitted that the accused has not been cooperative during the investigation conducted so far and he had been giving evasive replies. It has further been submitted that during the course of the investigation conducted in the above period of ED custody of the accused, some new names have been revealed by the accused and he needs to be confronted with the individuals whose names have recently emerged in the investigation.

Advocate Dhruv Gupta appeared for Sameer Mahendru and opposed the further remand application of ED, on the ground that the accused stands already been interrogated at length during the above period of ED custody and the IO should have put all the evidence collected so far to the accused by now and this request of the IO for extension of ED custody of the accused is nothing but an abuse of the process of law.
Advocate Dhruv Gupta also argued that the names of most of the individuals and other entities allegedly involved in the commission of the alleged offences of this case were already there on record and sufficient time was available with the IO to even call such individuals or the concerned persons for confronting them with the accused if it was so required.
The ED arrested Sameer Mahendru recently, after a day the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested Vijay Nair, former chief executive officer of Mumbai-based Only Much Louder, in connection with the Delhi Excise Policy case.
Among the accused public servants are Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, the then Excise Commissioner Arva Gopi Krishna, Deputy Commissioner Anand Tiwari and Assistant Commissioner Pankaj Bhatnagar.
Other accused are Manoj Rai, a former employee of Pernod Ricard; Amandeep Dhal, director of Brindco Sales; director of Buddy Retail Amit Arora, and Dinesh Arora; authorised signatories of Mahadev Liquors Sunny Marwah, Arun Ramchandra Pillai and Arjun Pandey.
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.
This allegedly caused a loss of Rs 144.36 crore to the exchequer, said the FIR, which has been instituted on a reference from the Union Home Ministry following a recommendation from Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena. (ANI)

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