ED probes Sanjay’s stake in biz venture

NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate, which on Friday began questioning senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh in its custody and confronting his close aides on alleged bribes received in the Delhi liquor scam, is focusing on a stake Singh had acquired through his parliamentary secretary Vivek Tyagi in a firm jointly with other accused involved in the liquor cartel.
The ED had told a special court on Thursday while seeking his custody that Singh was “involved in the conspiracy of extending favours to private persons in the excise policy formulation”.
During its investigation, the ED claimed it found that Singh had assured co-accused turned approver Dinesh Arora to get changes through then excise minister Manish Sisodia in the then proposed excise policy of 2020-21 to increase the brand registration criterion for IMFL brands – something that would have helped Amit Arora, a liquor trader, who was feeling inconvenienced because of the existing policy which “prescribed only a minimum sale criterion” and favoured those already entrenched in the Delhi market.
Dinesh Arora asked for the policy to be tweaked so that only those who had sold a minimum of 500,000 cases or more in markets excluding Delhi in “any of the two preceding financial years i.e. 2018-2019 or 2019-20 or in the current financial year” would be deemed eligible for an L1 licence (wholesale supply of Indian liquor).
Raising the bar would have helped Amit Arora who was into “high-end brands” which were the highest selling brands in other states but fared poorly in Delhi because of the government’s control over retail sales.
As part of the understanding, the ED claimed an MoU was worked out between Singh’s aide Vivek Tyagi, Dinesh Arora and Amit Arora, according to which Amit was to give 20% stake to each of the other two in his business. However, at Amit’s insistence, a clause was inserted in the the agreement stipulating that the MoU would be executed only when the policy change had been effected, the ED said based on the statement of Dinesh Arora’s chartered accountant Ankit.
Meanwhile, on Friday, the ED summoned Singh’s assistants Sarvesh Mishra and Vivek Tyagi for questioning related to the alleged receipt of bribe at his residence.

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