delhi excise case: Excise policy scam: Delhi HC to hear on Monday plea by Vijay Nair on info leak to media


The Delhi High Court will hear on Monday a plea by businessman Vijay Nair, an accused in the Delhi excise policy scam case, claiming that sensitive information related to the matter was being leaked to the media by investigating agencies. Earlier, Justice Yashwant Varma had directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to place before the court all press communications and releases put out by them in relation to the probe.

Nair, who is in custody in a money laundering case being probed by the ED in relation to the alleged scam, is a former chief executive officer of an event management company and communication in-charge of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

Earlier this month, he was granted bail by a trial court in the case also being probed by the CBI.

Nair through his lawyer has argued before the high court that the case was at a critical stage and his rights as an accused are adversely affected when the details are released to the media.
He has contended that all information was reaching the media through investigating agencies and if a news organisation was carrying things based on imagination, it was dangerous.

The court had then said it would consider the official communications issued by the investigating agencies and see if the television channels reported on the issue based on the communication or out of their “figment of imagination”.

“We are only interested in protecting the rights of the accused. We want to know what was put out in public domain and if what has been presented in the media is a correct representation or goes far beyond that,” the judge had said.

Nair, who is associated with Delhi’s ruling AAP, entered into a criminal conspiracy with others, and in furtherance of the conspiracy, the excise policy of the government of the national capital territory of Delhi (GNCTD) of 2021-2022 was framed and implemented, according to the prosecution.

The motive, according to the prosecution, was to provide undue and illegal favours to liquor manufacturers and distributors at the cost of the government exchequer and the policy resulted in a huge revenue loss to the government.

The CBI had registered an FIR against public servants, excise department officers and others, including Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The accused public servants were instrumental in recommending and taking decisions about the excise policy without securing the approval of the competent authority, according to the FIR.

The intent of the accused was to extend undue favours to the liquor licensees for illegal pecuniary benefits, it said.


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