Hyderabad-based businessman Arun Ramchandra Pillai, arrested in a money laundering case related to the alleged Delhi excise scam, has moved a city court accusing the Enforcement Directorate (ED) of forging his statements in the matter.
The ED had claimed that he is a close aide of BRS MLC and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao’s daughter K Kavitha and an alleged frontman of the liquor cartel – ”South Group” – that paid kickbacks amounting to about Rs 100 crore to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to gain a larger share of the market in the national capital under the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy for 2020-21.
Special Judge M K Nagpal has issued a notice to the ED on the application by Pillai and directed the agency to file its reply by March 13.
In the application moved before the court on Friday, Pillai’s lawyer sought to retract the statements reportedly recorded before the agency.
The accused claimed that ED forced him to sign two documents and presented them as his statements, including one in November 2022.
Pillai was arrested by the ED on March 6 and produced before the court the next day. The court then sent him to ED custody which ends on March 13.
The agency said Pillai was a close associate of Kavita, who deposed before the agency on Saturday.
The ED alleged that Pillai represented the “South Group” in meetings with other accused when the policy was being formulated and implemented.
The excise policy was scrapped in August last year and the Delhi lieutenant governor subsequently asked the CBI to probe the alleged irregularities and corruption involving government authorities, bureaucrats and liquor traders, among others.