Willing to turn approver: Businessman to court in Delhi excise policy case

Businessman Dinesh Arora, who has been accused in a case of alleged irregularities in the Delhi excise policy case, moved a CBI court Monday seeking pardon, and said that he wants to become a witness in the case that also has Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia as one of the accused.

Arora appeared before Special Judge M K Nagpal with his lawyer R K Thakur and informed that he has moved the application. Arora also recorded his statement before Special Judge Nagpal. The court will hear arguments on this application, though the proceedings are expected to take place in-camera since Arora’s lawyer told the court that this was a sensitive matter.

Arora prayed for a grant of tender of pardon, submitting, “I am ready to voluntarily make a true and full disclosure of all the facts pertaining to this case as the same are within my knowledge.”

“I am also ready to make a voluntary and true disclosure regarding my role in the commission of the alleged offences. I have earlier cooperated during the investigation of this case. I have also cooperated in the investigation of this case by the CBI and have made two statements before the IO (investigating officer) in this regard. I have

also made a confessional statement before the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) regarding the facts and events pertaining to the commission of alleged offences,” Arora told the court.

The businessman said he was making this statement “without any pressure, coercion or undue influence upon me by the CBI for any other purpose”. “In view of the court, it is requested that I be granted a pardon in this case. I am also ready to abide by all the grounds and conditions,” he told the court.

The FIR in the case was lodged by the CBI after L-G VK Saxena recommended a CBI probe into the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22, putting Sisodia, also the in-charge of the excise department, directly in the line of fire. Following this, the Delhi government had announced it was withdrawing the policy.

The excise policy, which brought in discounts and swankier liquor vends for consumers, was scrapped on July 31 amid allegations of corruption and irregularities in its drafting and implementation.

The CBI has so far arrested Vijay Nair, the former CEO of events company Only Much Louder (OML) who had been associated with the Aam Aadmi Party, and businessman Abhishek Boinpally in this case. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has also arrested Sameer Mahendru, Managing Director, Indospirit Group. All three men are in judicial custody.

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