A Delhi court on Wednesday allowed businessman Dinesh Arora, an accused in the excise policy scam case also involving Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, to turn approver. Arora is believed to be a close aide of Sisodia.
Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court also accepted Arora’s plea seeking pardon in the case. The court had on Tuesday reserved its order on Arora’s plea after hearing arguments in an in-chamber proceeding. During the proceedings, the court had posed various queries to the CBI as well as Arora.
The CBI had on November 7 moved an application before the court seeking its permission to turn Arora as an approver in the case. Following the application, Arora also moved a plea seeking pardon in the case, saying he was ready to make “true disclosure voluntarily”. Taking the oath of honesty and truth, Arora had told the Delhi court that he was ready to give voluntary disclosure about his involvement in the alleged offences and that “there is no pressure or threats by the CBI or anyone else". “I have earlier cooperated during the investigation of the case by the CBI," Arora had said.
The CBI has accused Arora of receiving a bribe of Rs 1 crore from a liquor manufacturer on behalf of Sisodia.
Among the accused public servants in the case are Sisodia, then excise commissioner Arva Gopi Krishna, deputy commissioner Anand Tiwari and assistant commissioner Pankaj Bhatnagar.
The court had earlier granted anticipatory bail to Arora after the probe agency did not oppose his plea. The CBI, in its reply to the anticipatory bail application, had stated that Arora joined the investigation and disclosed certain facts which were vital for the probe and hence, “the CBI has no objection if the anticipatory bail is granted to the applicant by this court".
The CBI, after registering a case in August this year against 15 people, had carried out searches at various places including those related to Arora. He was questioned eight times before he decided to turn an approver.
The excise scheme came under the scanner after the Delhi LG recommended a CBI probe into the alleged irregularities in the implementation of Delhi’s Excise Policy 2021-22. The LG had also suspended 11 excise officials.
(With PTI inputs)
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