Friday, December 1, 2023

Delhi liquor scam case: Court grants bail to Butchibabu Gorantla, close aide of Telangana MLC K Kavitha

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A local court in Delhi on Monday granted bail to Hyderabad-based Chartered Accountant Butchibabu Gorantla, who was arrested last month by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the Delhi liquor policy scam.

Special CBI Judge M.K. Nagpal at the Rouse Avenue Court granted bail to the former auditor for Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao’s daughter and MLC K Kavitha on condition that he would neither tamper with evidence, nor influence the witnesses.

He was further directed to surrender his passport.

The Rouse Avenue Court had recently granted permission to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to interrogate Butchibabu Gorantla in judicial custody and also record his statement, in a case registered under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had arrested Butchibabu on February 8 for his alleged role in formulating and implementing the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22, apart from causing wrongful gain to Hyderabad-based wholesale and retail licencees and their beneficial owners.

Earlier in the day, the same court had sent former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on February 26 in connection with his alleged involvement in the liquor scam case, to judicial custody till March 20.

CBI had alleged that Sisodia and other members of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had granted liquor licences to certain traders in exchange for bribes.

It was alleged that the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22 was manipulated in such a manner, so as to benefit certain traders and that kickbacks were received in exchange for the same.

Both CBI and ED had registered cases in relation to the alleged scam after Delhi Lieutenant Governor (LG) Vinai Kumar Saxena recommended a CBI probe based on a report by the Delhi Chief Secretary. 

The report claimed that Sisodia had violated statutory provisions and notified a policy that had significant financial implications.

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