YSR Congress member of Parliament (MP) Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy, under scanner in the Delhi excise policy related irregularities, failed to appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday citing ill-health of a family member, people familiar with the development said.
The agency will now issue summons to him for a fresh date.
The Lok Sabha MP from Ongole constituency in Andhra Pradesh was asked to present himself before the excise policy probe team in Delhi at 11am on Saturday as the agency wants to confront him with another accused Arun Ramchandra Pillai, who represented the alleged South Group, and other facts in the case.
His son Raghav Magunta was arrested by the ED on February 11.
ED has alleged in its court documents, seen by HT, that Raghav Magunta through his father Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy was instrumental in forming a partnership with other businessmen and politicians, which is now known as an alleged “South Group”, to form a partnership for entering Delhi’s liquor business.
Citing statements by various persons, ED has claimed that Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy or MSR himself called a meeting with his associates “in which he had expressed that he was very keen for doing trade in liquor in Delhi’s new excise policy and that Raghav will handle all operations of Delhi liquor trade”.
“MSR informed that he had met Arvind Kejriwal, chief minister of Delhi, to find out more about Delhi excise policy and that Kejriwal has welcomed his entry in Delhi liquor trade; that MSR wanted business base in Delhi liquor and Delhi CM welcomed him,” ED has said in one of its remand notes.
The South Group, according to ED, comprises MSR, his son Raghav Magunta, Sarath Reddy (promoter of Aurobindo Group), and K Kavitha (Bharat Rashtra Samitih MLC and daughter of Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao) and Delhi businessman Sameer Mahendru. It was represented by Abhishek Boinpally, Arun Pillai and Butchibabu Gorantla in the meetings with Aam Aadmi Party’s communications in-charge Vijay Nair and other liquor businessmen.
Seeking extension of former Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia’s custody on Friday, ED had informed a Delhi court that the AAP leader was involved in large scale destruction of digital evidence to impede investigation into the Delhi excise policy case and had changed and destroyed 14 phones.
Sisodia was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on February 26. He is currently in the ED custody.
ED has claimed that Sisodia changed or destroyed most of the phones right from the day of the complaint by the Delhi lieutenant governor (LG) to the CBI, which was also reported by the media on July 22 last year.