The Central Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday arrested Sameer Mahendru in connection with the Delhi Excise Policy Case. Sameer Mahendru, the owner of the Indospirit group was co-accused in the FIR by CBI. The arrest came a day after Vijay Nair, a co-accused in the case was rounded up by the CBI.
The Delhi Excise Police case has caused much furore in national as well as local politics.
Who is Sameer Mahendru?
Sameer Mahendru, listed as the eighth accused by the CBI is a known name in the Indian Liquor industry. He is the Managing Director of the Indospirit group. The business group, founded in 2006, has several subsidiaries dealing in wholesale and beverage.
According to sources, the businessman Sameer Mahendru is a trusted aide of Delhi Education Minister Manish Sisodia.
Delhi Excise Policy and Sameer Mahendru
The CBI had alleged in the FIR that Liquor Baron was deeply involved in framing and implementing the Delhi Excise Policy.
The FIR also mentioned ₹5 crore being paid by Sameer Mahendru to close associates of Manish Sisodia.
This was allegedly done in turn to favour the liquor trader’s company — a claim which was also stated by Aman Arora in a sting.
The sting, shared by the Bharatiya Janta Party, had the co-accused in CBI’s FIR, Amit Arora, spilling beans on the AAP’s excise policy.
Aman Arora stated in the video how the AAP government stipulated regulations to benefit particular liquor traders. He talked about how liquor contracts were awarded to certain traders — including Sameer Mahendru.
BJP had then demanded the resignation of Delhi Dy CM Manish Sisodia and action against the accused involved. Top leaders of AAP had vehemently opposed the allegations, which they continue till now.
The Scrapped Delhi Excise Policy
A CBI team on 19 August, 2022 conducted searches on 21 locations simultaneously including the residence of Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. The information was shared by Manish Sisodia himself on Twitter, as several AAP leaders lent their support to him.
The Delhi Chief Secretary had submitted a report to Delhi Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena. He had accused the Delhi government of awarding tenders illegally and providing undue profits to liquor contractors through the Delhi Excise Policy.
The Delhi LG had then recommended a CBI probe on the irregularities in the excise policy.
The arrest of liquor baron Sameer Mahendru comes off as a big development in the Delhi Excise Policy case and signals more arrests in near future.