Excise ‘scam’: Delhi court allows ED to question Hyderabad-based CA in money laundering case
New Delhi, February 22, 2023
A Delhi court has granted permission to Enforcement Directorate to question Hyderabad-based chartered accountant Butchibabu Gorantla in a money laundering case related to the alleged Delhi excise policy scam, a court source said.
Gorantla, who is said to be a former auditor of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s daughter and Bharat Rashtra Samithi MLC K Kavitha, is presently in judicial custody.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had arrested Gorantla on February 8 for his alleged role in the formulation and implementation of the now-scrapped Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22, which caused “wrongful gains” to Hyderabad-based wholesale and retail liquor licensees and their beneficial owner.
Special Judge M K Nagpal granted permission to ED for questioning and recording the statement of Gorantla in connection with the ED’s money laundering case on Tuesday, the court source said.
According to the CBI, a scrutiny of the WhatsApp chats found from his mobile phones showed “certain incriminating facts about the formulation and implementation of the Delhi excise policy”.
The CBI had questioned Telangana CM’s daughter Kavitha in connection with the case in December last year.
During its probe, the CBI had found evidence that Gorantla, who was a former chartered accountant of Kavitha, acted on behalf of the “south lobby” comprising the Telangana MLC, YSRCP MP Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy and Aurobindo Pharma’s P Sarat Chandra Reddy.
The ED’s money laundering case stems from a CBI FIR.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and other excise officials of the government were named as accused in the CBI and the ED complaints.