Delhi excise policy case: SC seeks response of ED, CBI on interim bail pleas of AAP leader Manish Sisodia


PTI, Jul 14, 2023, 6:16 PM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday sought responses from the CBI and the ED by July 28 on the interim bail pleas of AAP leader Manish Sisodia in two Delhi excise policy cases being probed by the central agencies.

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna, Bela M Trivedi and Ujjal Bhuyan took into consideration the submission of senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, appearing for Sisodia, that the former deputy chief minister’s wife is suffering from an ”extreme” medical condition and is hospitalised.

The bench said normally the court does not interfere with policy decisions but here is a case of making of a policy for ”extraneous” reasons.

Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, repredenting the CBI and ED, said Sisodia’s interim bail application citing his wife’s illness had been rejected by the trial court.

The bench, however, asked Raju to file response on behalf of investigating agencies.

On July 10, a bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud had agreed to hear the pleas of the former Delhi deputy chief minister on July 14.

Sisodia, who held the excise portfolio among many that he handled as the deputy chief minister, was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on February 26 for his alleged role in the ”scam”. He has been in custody since then.

The ED arrested him in a money laundering case stemming from the CBI FIR on March 9 after questioning him in Tihar jail.

Sisodia resigned from the Delhi cabinet on February 28.

The high court had denied him bail in the CBI case on May 30, saying having been the deputy chief minister and excise minister, he is a ”high-profile” person who has the potential to influence the witnesses.

On July 3, the high court had declined him bail in the money laundering case linked to alleged irregularities in the city government’s excise policy, holding that the charges against him are ”very serious in nature”.

In its May 30 order, the high court had said since Sisodia was at the ”helm of affairs” when the alleged scam took place, he cannot say he had no role to play.

The high court had said with his party still in power in the national capital, Sisodia, who once held 18 portfolios, continues to wield influence, and since the witnesses are mostly public servants, the possibility of their getting influenced cannot be ruled out.

According to the two federal investigative agencies, irregularities were committed while modifying the excise policy and undue favours were extended to licence holders.

The Delhi government implemented the policy on November 17, 2021, but scrapped it at the end of September 2022 amid allegations of corruption.

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