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Delhi liquor policy scam: Delhi HC rejects bail to businessman Amandeep Singh Dhall [Read Judgment]

By Shreya Agarwal      05 June, 2024 12:35 PM      0 Comments
Delhi liquor policy scam Delhi HC rejects bail to businessman Amandeep Singh Dhall

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has rejected the bail plea of businessman Amandeep Singh Dhall in the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) case of the Delhi liquor policy scam matter.

A single judge bench of Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma who also decided Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s plea in the matter against his arrest, refused to grant Dhall bail noting that considering the overall facts and circumstances of the case bail cannot be granted to him as of now.

Also Read - PIL in Delhi HC seeks FIR on Sunita Kejriwal for sharing court hearing clips on social media, alleges criminal conspiracy

It was also of importance to the Court that “an FIR already stands registered against the applicant for paying bribe to an officer of Directorate of Enforcement (ED) for getting his name removed from the present case”.

In this regard, the Court reasoned that “many witnesses in the case are well known to the Dhall” and that “Dhall was also in contact with influential leaders of Aam Aadmi Party in the Delhi Government for hatching conspiracy”.

It hence concluded that there is a well-founded apprehension of influencing witnesses and tampering with evidence in Dhall’s case.

The Court relied on statements of witnesses which revealed that Dhall and his father had given Rs. 5 crores, initially Rs. 3 crores in the month of December 2022 - January 2023, and thereafter Rs. 2 crores to one Sh. Praveen Vats, Chartered Accountant, seeking aid to influence the ongoing investigation against him by the ED in the liquor policy case.

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Specifically, the bench held, “Considering the overall facts and circumstances of the case, seriousness of the allegations and the evidence collected by the prosecution, and when charges are yet to be framed and evidence is yet to be recorded (…) this Court does not find any ground for grant of bail to the applicant, at this stage.”

While Dhall challenged his incarceration as being in direct conflict with his fundamental right to liberty, the Court was of the opinion that it has been clearly outlined as to how he was instrumental and part of the conspiracy since its inception.

The Court also added that his role in payment of the additional credit notes worth Rs. 4.97 crores has been clearly brought out through the statements of various witnesses and approver Sh. Dinesh Arora.

Dhall’s role in the Delhi liquor policy scam:

On perusal of the material on record, and statements of witnesses, the Court said that prima facie it appeared that Dhall, who owns M/s Brindco Sales Pvt. Ltd., was in criminal conspiracy with the co-accused Vijay Nair and he was instrumental in facilitating and arranging meetings with members of South Group.

He was also found to be prima facie involved in recoupment of bribes/kickbacks by issuing additional credit notes through his company M/s Brindco Sales Pvt. Ltd. (L-1 licensee), out of the 12% wholesale profit margin of his company.

This, the Court said, was because in pursuance of the conspiracy, 6% of the profit margin was agreed to be paid towards recoupment of the kickback or bribe amount.

“The possession of confidential government documents by the present applicant also indicates his key role in formulating and manipulating the Excise Policy to secure undue financial benefits, since, as alleged, these documents could not have been legitimately possessed by the applicant, which highlights his involvement in the entire conspiracy,” the Court reasoned.

Cause Title: Amandeep Singh Dhall v Central Bureau of Investigation

[Read Judgment]



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