"I've Hearing Loss": Man Says Tortured By Probe Agency In Liquor Scam Case

The Enforcement Directorate's money laundering case stems from a CBI FIR that had named Manish Sisodia as an accused among others.

'I've Hearing Loss': Man Says Tortured By Probe Agency In Liquor Scam Case

Mr Chandan also furnished a medical report that backs his claim of hearing loss.

Hyderabad:

Serious allegations of torture and of getting statements under force have been made against the Enforcement Directorate by a man who was questioned by the probe agency in the alleged Delhi liquor scam case.

Earla Chandan, who oversees the retail liquor business of Trident Chemphar Limited, today withdrew his statements to the ED, saying there were extracted by force.

"I have complete hearing loss in one ear and partial hearing loss in the other ear. This is entirely attributable to the severe beating and violence carried out upon my by the officers of the Enforcement Directorate in order to extract false statements and get me to sign papers and sign papers and state certain things which are contradictory to facts," he said in his letter to the ED and its top officials.

Mr Chandan also furnished a medical report that backs his claim of hearing loss.

He said he joined Aurobindo Realty & Infrastructure Pvt Ltd as Vice President (Corporate relations) in 2021 and was later posted to Delhi to oversee the retail liquor business operations of Trident Chemphar Limited, a company under the same management.

"The entire operations lasted about seven months, at the end of which the Liquor Policy under which the company had been awarded the contract was scrapped. It came to my knowledge from newspapers that CBI had registered an FIR and was investigating some irregularities in the said policy, which perhaps in now also being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate," his letter states.

Mr Chandan retracted all statements, admissions, or signatures obtained by the ED on September 16, the day when ED officials visited his place, till the time of his release the next day, claiming they have been forcibly obtained through "coercion, duress and threat of physical injury".

He also said he can't fully recollect all that he said during the questioning.

"I am unable to fully recollect what other replies I have given in the statement under duress at this point, as I am slowly recovering from the mental trauma and agony caused by ED officials on 16.09.2022 till the time of my release," the letter states.

Earla Chandan further said he was "ready and willing" to cooperate with any investigation but requested all questioning, if required, be done in the presence of his lawyer.

The ED had yesterday claimed that bribes worth Rs 100 crore were paid for favours involving the now-scrapped Delhi liquor sales policy, in which Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia is an accused.

They also claimed to have found that over three dozen VIPs, including Mr Sisodia, allegedly changed as many as 140 mobile phones to destroy digital evidence.

The Enforcement Directorate's claims came as it arrested two executives of two private companies on Thursday in a case linked to the liquor sales policy.

The two arrested were Benoy Babu, general manager of liquor company Pernod Ricard, and P Sarath Chandra Reddy, whole-time director and promoter of Aurobindo Pharma. 

The Enforcement Directorate's money laundering case stems from a CBI FIR that had named Manish Sisodia as an accused among others.

The excise scheme came under the scanner after the Delhi Lieutenant Governor recommended a CBI probe into the alleged irregularities in the implementation of the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22. The Lt Governor had also suspended 11 excise officials.

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