A Delhi court on Wednesday pardoned businessman Dinesh Arora, who was named as an accused in the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) probe into alleged irregularities in Delhi’s 2021-22 excise policy, and allowed him to turn approver in the purported scam, saying that his testimony during the course of trial will be helpful in “unraveling the entire conspiracy and establishing the roles of the accused”.
Delhi government officials did not respond to requests seeking comment in the matter.
CBI has previously said that Arora is a “close associate” of Delhi deputy chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party leader Manish Sisodia, a claim the AAP has dismissed, even as it labelled the investigation into the excise policy as a witch hunt aimed at weakening the party ahead of the Gujarat assembly polls.
On Wednesday, special judge MK Nagpal said that prima facie, Arora “truly” and “fairly” disclosed all facts pertaining to the commission of the alleged offences.
The court on Wednesday said Arora’s assistance in the investigation will help CBI to prove or establish the missing link in the chain of circumstances forming the criminal conspiracy of the alleged scam, thereby leading to the commission of the alleged offence.
“It prima facie appears to this court, as also submitted by the IO, that the applicant has truly and fairly disclosed all the relevant facts pertaining to the commission of the alleged offences, the roles played by all the accused persons therein as the same were in his knowledge and it further appears that he was very much concerned in the commission of the offences..,” the court said in its order.
“…Accordingly the applicant is hereby granted pardon in this case on the condition that he will make full and true disclosure of the whole circumstances within his knowledge and relating to the offences and to every other person concerned…,” the court said.
It, however, directed that criminal action will be taken against Arora in case he suppresses or gives false information regarding the commission of evidence.
“This (pardon) is also subject to condition that if subsequently, during the course of trial, the applicant fails or refuses to comply with the condition or he wilfully suppresses anything essential… then he can be tried for giving false evidence besides the other provisions of the offences which he may have committed in the present matter, in which he is being granted pardon,” the judge said.