The South Group, of which Telangana chief minister’s daughter Kavitha is a part, has paid ₹100 crore to Vijay Nair, on behalf of Aam Admi Party (AAP) leaders, and in return received stakes in Delhi liquor business, ED alleged in a prosecution complaint filed in a special Delhi court.

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The ED had taken over the case from the Central Bureau of Investigation which had booked Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia along with UT officials, liquor manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers on charges of rigging the Delhi excise policy, 2022, for illegal gratification leadsing to ₹2,873 crore loss to the public exchequer.

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Telangana MLC Kavitha, however, debunked the ED’s allegations, terming them “completely bogus and false”. She tweeted, “Only time will prove my sincerity. It’s a political vendetta of BJP, as they fear BRS Party Chief CM KCR ji’s expose on their anti-farmer & pro-capitalist policies”.

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Other prominent members of the South Group are; YSR Congress MP Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy, Raghav Magunta, Sarath Reddy, the ED stated in its prosecution complaint. The court took cognizance of the prosecution complaint on Tuesday.

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“These kickbacks were paid in advance to the AAP leaders through Vijay Nair by the South Group as part of agreement”... and they “secured uninhibited access, undue favours, attained stakes in established wholesale businesses and multiple retail zones (over and above what was allowed in the policy), ED alleged.

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To recover/recoup the kickbacks given by the South Group, partners were given 65 per cent stakes in Indo Spirits in collusion with accused Sameer Mahandru. This formation of partnership was directed by Vijay Nair on the assurance of giving the wholesale business of Pernod Ricard to Indo Spirits of Sameer Mahandru,” the ED charged.

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The Group, stated the ED, controlled these stakes in Indo Spirits through false representation, concealment and proxies like Arun Pillai and Prem Rahul who had 32.5 per cent stake. The ED observed that Rahul never met Mahandru and capital investment can be traced back to the South Group. “There is evidence to show that this withdrawal can be linked to the money that was paid to Vijay Nair,” said the agency’s prosecution complaint.

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The South Group directly and indirectly controlled nine retail zones, including the two L7 zones of the accused company Khao Gali, while in other cases the intevention was through financing of the earnest money deposit for the tendering process, ostensible investments, relatives, dummies and proxies, the ED alleged.

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Another way of paying bribe was through credit notes. Though such instruments are given to persons who have direct link or sold goods, in the Delhi excise policy case, the manufacturers gave credit notes to retailed with whom they had no direct transactions, said the agency.

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The ED alleged due to undue benefits to the private companies and persons and kickbacks to AAP leaders, there was loss of ₹2,873 crore to public exchequer. According to the calculation of losses done by Delhi excise department, maximum loss of ₹719.3 crore was due to non-opening of L& vends in the non-conforming wards, followed by ₹581 crore for wholesale distribution to private entities and not to government, and giving 12 per cent profit margin to private wholesalers (L1).