A Delhi court on Saturday sent Raghav Magunta, the son of YSR Congress Party MP Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy, to Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody till February 20 in a money laundering case related to alleged irregularities in the Delhi excise policy.
Duty Judge Naresh Kumar Laka passed the order on an application moved by the ED seeking 10-day custody of Manguta, alleging that he participated and knowingly assisted various processes or activities of possession, use, transfer, etc. of the proceeds of crime worth at least Rs 180 crore.
In addition, even after multiple opportunities and recorded statements of the other accused, he was not cooperating with the investigation and did not reveal facts which are crucial for the investigation and he has exclusive knowledge of.
Hence, custodial interrogation of Magunta is the need of the hour, the ED told the judge.
It further said that the arrestee also needed to be confronted with digital and physical records seized during 189 search operations conducted till date by the ED.
Magunta needs to be interrogated in custody with respect to other persons/associates/entities involved, to identify the complete modus operandi of the offence and unearth the complete proceeds of crime, the ED told the court.
The ED cited various instances showing prima facie involvement of the accused in alleged carter of persons who caused loss to the government exchequer by way of alleged wrongful formulation and implementation of the Delhi excise policy.
"In the light of the aforesaid discussion and to afford opportunity to the ED to go into (get to) the root of the matter by way of custodial interrogation (which is an essential part of the investigation), the present application is allowed." "The accused is given into the custody of the ED for a period of 10 days and he be produced before the concerned court on February 20," the judge said.
The accused was arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on Friday evening.
Magunta is the ninth person to be arrested by the ED in the Delhi excise policy case and the third this week.
Earlier this week, the agency arrested Gautam Malhotra, the son of former SAD MLA from Punjab Deep Malhotra, and Rajesh Joshi, the director of an advertising company called Chariot Productions Media Private Limited.
The ED had alleged that a cartel, 'South Group', of liquor retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers was created as part of the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy, and the father-son duo were part of it.
The ED has filed two charge sheets or prosecution complaints in this case so far.
The money laundering case stems from a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) FIR.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and other excise officials of the government have been named as accused in CBI and ED complaints.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)