Thu, 07 Dec 2023

New Delhi [India], May 25 (ANI): The Rouse Avenue Court on Thursday dismissed the default bail plea of Raghav Magunta, son of YSR Congress Party MP Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy, in Delhi excise policy money laundering case saying that "his default bail in the present case is held to be devoid of any merits and the same is, therefore, dismissed."Special Judge MK Nagpal while deciding the matter said that it clearly emerges from the several judgments that merely because some further investigation into a case on some facets or aspects relating to the commission of the alleged offences are still going on or kept pending by the investigating agency, it is not a ground to conclude or hold that the final report which the investigating agency had filed or submitted in the court is actually not final or it has been filed or presented only to curtail or scuttle the right of an accused to get statutory or default bail U/S 167(2) Cr.P.C.

Raghav Magunta's regular bail plea was also dismissed by the trial Court in April where the judge said, "The court is prima facie of the view that there is a genuine case made out by the investing agency showing active involvement of the applicant in the commission of the alleged offence of money laundering and this court is not able to arrive at any finding contrary to the said view".

In the matter, Siddharth Aggarwal, Senior Counsel, assisted by Gautam Khazanchi, P Singh, Vishvajeet Singh, Ruprali Patil, Vaibhav Dubey, Vinayak Chawla and Subham Jain Advocates, represented the applicant Raghav Magenta and Zoheb Hossain, Special Counsel assisted by N.K. Matta, SPP, Gaurav Saini, ALA/ED, Baibhav and Hasnain M Khawja Advocates, appeared on behalf of the ED.

Magunta Raghava Reddy, the son of Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party's (YSRCP) MP from Ongole Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy, was arrested by Enforcement Directorate on February 10 in connection with the Delhi excise policy scam case.

According to the ED, Raghav through his proxy person Prem Rahul Manduri also held 32.5 per cent stakes in M/s Indo Spirits, which held L1 wholesale license. Raghav being part of the South group was part and beneficiary of the conspiracy in which the South Group paid around Rs 100 crore to the Aam Aadmi Party.

ED earlier stated that Raghav Magunta is one of the key persons in the conspiracy of cartelisation and kickbacks hatched along with various persons in the Delhi Excise policy 2021-22 scam. Raghav Magunta is the owner of liquor manufacturing units in the name of M/s Enrica Enterprises Pvt Ltd located in Chennai.

He further controlled 2 retail zones in the name of M/s Magunta Agro Farms Pvt Ltd directly in contravention of the Excise Policy 2021-22 where a manufacturer was not permitted to hold either retail or wholesale operations. Raghav being part of the South group was part and beneficiary of the conspiracy in which the South Group paid Rs. 100 Cr approx. to the AAP, said ED.

The ED and the CBI had, last year registered cases alleging that irregularities were committed while modifying the Excise Policy, undue favours were extended to licence holders, the licence fee was waived or reduced and the L-1 licence was extended without the competent authority's approval. The beneficiaries diverted "illegal" gains to the accused officials and made false entries in their books of account to evade detection.

As alleged, the Excise Department had decided to refund the Earnest Money Deposit of about Rs 30 crore to a successful tenderer against the set rules. Even though there was no enabling provision, a waiver on tendered licence fees was allowed from December 28, 2021, to January 27, 2022, due to COVID-19, which allegedly caused a loss of Rs 144.36 crore to the exchequer, which has been instituted on a reference from the Union Home Ministry following a recommendation from Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena.

The CBI inquiry was recommended on the findings of the Delhi chief secretary's report filed in July showing prima facie violations of the GNCTD Act 1991, Transaction of Business Rules (ToBR)-1993, Delhi Excise Act-2009, and Delhi Excise Rules-2010, officials had said. (ANI)

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