The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday mentioned AAP MP Raghav Chadha’s name in its second supplementary chargesheet in the Delhi liquor policy case. Manish Sisodia’s former secretary, C Arvind, had told the probe agency that there was a meeting held at the former deputy Chief Minister’s residence with Raghav Chadha in attendance. Raghav Chadha said he hadn’t been named as an accused or even a suspect in any of the complaints filed by the ED.
According to C Arvind’s statement, the meeting was also attended by Punjab Excise Commissioner Varun Roojam, Vijay Nair, an accused in the case, and other officers from the Punjab Excise Directorate.
This comes days after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) named Manish Sisodia as an accused for the first time in its supplementary chargesheet filed before a CBI court in Delhi. Sisodia was arrested by the probe agency in February after they questioned him for eight hours in connection with the case.
It is alleged that the Delhi government’s excise policy for 2021-22 to grant licences to liquor traders favoured certain dealers who had allegedly paid bribes for it, a charge strongly refuted by the AAP. The policy was later scrapped.
The ED has levelled major allegations against Delhi Chief Minister and AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal and his former deputy Manish Sisodia. In the supplementary chargesheet, the ED said the new liquor policy was Kejriwal's brain-child and that he, along with Sisodia, provided immunity to Vijay Nair so he could engage in illegal activities while framing and implementing the policy.
The central probe agency also levelled charges against BRS leader K Kavitha and said she met Sameer Mahendru, a liquor trader who was among the accused in the case, at her residence in Hyderabad in 2022. It said the meeting was attended by others accused in the case, including businessmen Sarath Chandra Reddy and Abhishek Boinpally, and Kavitha’s alleged frontman Arun Pillai.
All of them have been arrested in connection with the case. Kavitha’s husband Anil was also present at the meeting, said the ED. According to the chargesheet, Sameer Mahendru in his statement said that K Kavitha told him that Arun Pillai was like a family member.
The ED also said Arun Pillai and Amandeep Dhall, another accused, destroyed digital evidence on a large scale. It said the accused have destroyed a huge number of phones and they could not be recovered during the agency’s searches.
RAGHAV CHADHA REACTS
In his first reaction to the ED chargesheet, AAP MP Raghav Chadha said he had not been named as an accused or a suspect.
#WATCH | The news is false and fabricated. I am neither named as accused nor as suspect, or witness in any ED complaint. It's propaganda to harm my reputation and credibility: AAP MP Raghav Chadha https://t.co/nLYuwQDNiu pic.twitter.com/A5ROd8alry— ANI (@ANI) May 2, 2023
He added that his name does not appear on the chargesheet “even as a witness”. “It’s propaganda to harm my reputation and credibility,” he added.
“There are no allegations whatsoever against me in the said complaints. It appears that in the complaint my name is mentioned as an attendee to some meeting, though the basis of making such an allegation is not clear. I vehemently and unequivocally deny commission of any alleged offence in any manner, in relation to the said meeting or otherwise,” Chadha said in a statement.