Rajesh Joshi of Chariot Advertising, who received the kickbacks produced in the Delhi excise policy case during the Goa elections, has been detained by the Enforcement Directorate. The central investigation agency had alleged in its chargesheet that the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party used Rs 100 crore in kickbacks from the abolished Delhi excise policy in its 2022 campaign for the Goa Assembly. For the Goa election campaign, Rajesh Joshi is said to have collected Rs 30 crore through his advertising firm, Chariot Advertising, from the accused Dinesh Arora. Vijay Nair of the AAP was closely collaborating with Dinesh Arora.
The ED has determined that this Rs 30 crore was made unlawfully when the AAP government in Delhi implemented the new excise policy. In this matter, the ED has so far presented two chargesheets and detained eight individuals, including Rajesh Joshi. The ED detained Gautam Malhotra, a businessman and the son of former SAD MLA and liquor magnate Deep Malhotra, in Punjab as part of an investigation into money laundering allegations related to the case. On Tuesday night, he was arrested in connection with the ED’s money laundering investigation.
In August of last year, the Delhi excise policy for 2021–2022 was cancelled, and the lieutenant governor of Delhi subsequently requested that the CBI look into the suspected irregularities. Sisodia is the primary accused in two distinct charges that were filed by both agencies. The CBI discovered in a preliminary investigation that the Feedback Unit (FBU), established by the Delhi government to combat corruption, reportedly gathered “political intelligence,” which may make Sisodia’s problems worse.
According to ED officials, Malhotra is the promoter of the Punjab-based Oasis organisation and was detained in accordance with the penal provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). They claimed he was “evasive” in his responses and that the agency was unaware of his involvement in the allegations of cartelization in relation to the excise policy developed by the Delhi government.
Manish Sisodia, the deputy chief minister of Delhi, and a few excise employees were listed as defendants in the CBI and ED allegations. According to the ED’s investigation, the formulation and implementation of Delhi’s excise policy resulted in acts of corruption and conspiracy that cost the government at least Rs 2,873 crore.