Money laundering case: Delhi HC seeks ED’s response on kingpin Benoy Babu’s bail application
Babu, who worked as the India head of French liquor giant, Pernod Ricard was arrested by the ED in November last year
The Delhi High Court Wednesday sought the response of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on to a bail plea filed by Benoy Babu, arrested in the now scrapped Delhi excise policy-related money laundering case.
Benoy Babu, who worked as the India head of the French wine seller company Pernod Ricard, was arrested by the ED in November last year.
Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma issued notice to the ED on Babu’s petition challenging a trial court’s February 16 order. His bail plea was dismissed by the trial court.
The court said it not possible to hold that they will make no attempt to tamper with the evidence if released.
The money laundering case, stems from a CBI FIR which was lodged in the matter after Delhi Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena recommended a CBI probe.
The CBI has alleged that Vijay Nair, the Aam Aadmi Party’s communication strategist met the other co-accused and liquor manufacturers at various hotels in Hyderabad, Mumbai and Delhi for arranging "ill-gotten money through hawala operators".
In the money-laundering case, the ED had raided nearly three dozen locations in Delhi and Punjab following the arrest of Mahendru, the managing director of liquor distributor Indospirit Group, which is based in Delhi's Jor Bagh.
The other accused in the case are Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, former excise commissioner Arva Gopi Krishna, former deputy commissioner in the excise department Anand Tiwari and former assistant commissioner Pankaj Bhatnagar.
According to the CBI and ED, irregularities were committed while modifying the excise policy and undue favours were extended to the licence holders.
The Delhi government had implemented the excise policy on November 17, 2021 but scrapped it at the end of September 2022 amid allegations of corruption.
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