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In the latest development in Delhi's excise policy case, the enforcement directorate (ED) arrested businessman, Amit Arora on Wednesday.

Arora, director of Buddy Retail Pvt Limited in Gurgram, has been arrested in connection with a money laundering probe in the excise policy probe.

Arora was arrested last night under the criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), they said.

He is expected to be produced before a local court where the agency will seek his custody, according to the agencies.

The CBI in a recently filed charge sheet in the case claimed that Amit Arora, with two other accused, Dinesh Arora and Arjun Pandey, are “close associates" of Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia and were “actively involved in managing and diverting the undue pecuniary advantage collected from liquor licensees" for the accused public servants.

The ED also filed its first charge sheet (prosecution complaint) in the case last week, naming arrested businessman Sameer Mahandru and a few other entities in it.

Last week, the CBI filed a charge sheet against arrested businessmen Vijay Nair and Abhishek Boinpally and five more accused.

Nair and Boinpally were arrested by the but recently granted bail by a special court. They are still in custody in connection with the Enforcement Directorate case against them.

Besides Nair and Boinpally, those named in the charge sheet are the Managing Director of India Ahead News channel Mootha Gautam, Hyderabad-based liquor businessman and a partner of Boinpally in Robin Distilleries LLP Arun R Pillai, owner of Indospirit Sameer Mahendru and two former officials of the excise department -- Deputy Commissioner Kuldeep Singh and Assistant Commissioner Narender Singh.

The seven accused have been named in the charge sheet under IPC section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and provisions of bribery under the Prevention of Corruption Act, officials said.

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, named in the CBI FIR, does not figure in this charge sheet.

It is alleged the Delhi government's policy to grant licenses to liquor traders was influenced in favour of certain dealers who had allegedly paid bribes for it, a charge strongly refuted by Delhi's ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

Besides Sisodia, who holds the excise portfolio in the Delhi government, the CBI had named the then excise commissioner Arava Gopi Krishna, the then deputy excise commissioner Anand Kumar Tiwari, assistant excise commissioner Pankaj Bhatnagar, nine businessmen, and two companies as accused in the FIR filed on August 17.

In its FIR, the agency has alleged that Sisodia and other accused public servants recommended and took decisions pertaining to the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22 without the approval of competent authority with "an intention to extend undue favours to the licensees post tender".

The CBI has alleged that Radha Industries managed by Dinesh Arora received 1 crore from Sameer Mahendru of Indospirits.

(With PTI inputs)

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