Delhi liquor policy case: Former aide of KCR's daughter arrested
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested Hyderabad-based chartered accountant Butchi Babu Gorantla in connection with the alleged Delhi Liquor Policy scam case. He is accused of playing a role in the excise policy's formulation and implementation. Gorantla is allegedly Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao's daughter MLC Kalvakuntla Kavitha's former aide, and has also worked as a personal auditor for other prominent figures.
Why does this story matter?
- MLC Kavitha was earlier named in the case, along with some other politicians and business persons from southern India.
- In a new chargesheet, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) claimed that a cartel of liquor contractors from the "South group" paid Rs. 100 crore in kickbacks to leaders of Delhi's ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to obtain liquor licenses illegally under the now-defunct liquor policy.
Arrested after being summoned to Delhi for questioning
Gorantla was summoned to Delhi for questioning and will be produced in court on Wednesday. The agency arrested him late Tuesday for not cooperating with the investigation. Hyderabad's wholesale and retail licensees and their beneficial owners gained wrongfully from the policy, the CBI said. In September of last year, the ED raided his home in Domalguda, Hyderabad, in connection with his audit.
Kavitha part of southern liquor cartel: CBI, ED
The agencies allege that Kavitha is involved with a southern cartel which includes her party Telangana Rashtra Samithi(now Bharat Rashtra Samithi) founding member's son Abhishek Boinpally Rao, Sarath Reddy of Aurobindo Pharma, and Pernod Ricard official Benoy Babu—all based in Hyderabad—along with Andhra Pradesh's ruling YSR Congress MP Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy. The ED raided several locations in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh among others.
AAP leader, businessmen arrested earlier
The probe agencies claim that Boinpally lobbied for the cartel while Babu was arrested for his alleged non-cooperation in the investigation. Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia is also an accused in the case in which AAP communications in-charge Vijay Nair and Indospirit's managing director Sameer Mahendru have been arrested for alleged money laundering and cartelizing the granting of licenses under the liquor policy.
AAP used funds from liquor policy scam in Goa election
In the chargesheet, the ED claimed that money from the scam was used for campaigning in the Goa Assembly elections, while cash payments of around Rs. 70 lakh were allegedly made to volunteers of teams surveying the election campaign. Notably, the AAP and BRS are emerging as BJP's national rivals and are jointly taking on the ruling party.