Crucial information revealed during custody, says ED while seeking extension of Sisodia’s remand

17 March, 2023 | Pragati Singh

ED National

Enforcement Directorate stated that the act of pro-active destruction of evidence leads to only one inference.

The Enforcement Directorate said on Friday that Manish Sisodia gave critical information while in detention while requesting an extension of the former Delhi constable chief minister’s remand in connection with the Excise Policy case.

According to the ED, in light of the findings, we have summoned Rahul Singh, ex-Excise Commissioner, the then Excise Commissioner, on March 20. (who was first issued a summons for March 15 but had taken adjournment of at least 4 days as he is suffering from viral infection and fever). According to the ED, C Aravind, the then Secretary, the Deputy CM for March 21, Dinesh Arora for March 17, and Amit Arora for March 20 have already been issued. The following findings and individuals must be faced with Manish Sisodia, according to the ED.

On Friday, Special Judge MK Nagpal noted the statements of both parties and reserved the order on the ED’s remand application. The order will be submitted later today.

Senior Lawyer Mohit Mathur appeared for Sisodia and opposed the ED’s remand application. “This change of phone was part of the CBI remand and is now the part of ED application. Personal liberty is paramount. The court is the custodian of our liberty. My liberty is at your hand. During 7 days of custody, they had only 4 people to be confronted. Confrontation need not custody,” the lawyer added.

Attorney Zohaib Hossain appeared for the ED and presented massive amounts of mail and cellphone data, all of which are being forensically assessed. The cell phone, which Sisodia had been using for a long period, was replaced the day LG wrote to the CBI.

Lawyers for the ED also claimed that the claims were validated by the recovery of data from the arrestee’s computer. According to ED, mobile data, email data, and cloud data were also received throughout the interpretation.

Earlier, the Enforcement Directorate stated that the act of pro-active destruction of evidence leads to only one inference: Manish Sisodia made purposeful efforts to destroy evidence of the offence of money laundering, when requesting remand of Manish Sisodia in connection with the Excise Policy case.

Attorneys Zohaib Hossain and Naveen Kumar Matta appeared for the ED earlier and claimed that Manish Sisodia lied in his statements on March 7 and March 9.

“On being asked about his association with Dinesh Arora, who handled the transfer of kickbacks from the South Group to Vijay Nair,” he gave an answer contrary to what has been revealed by independent persons/stakeholders.

Sisodia was brought before the court on Friday at 2 p.m., following the expiration of his remand period in the case, which had been granted previously by the same court. The ED previously informed the court that Manish Sisodia had purchased SIM cards and mobile phones in the names of others.

The excise policy was framed as part of a conspiracy. The plot was orchestrated by Vijay Nair and others, and the Excise policy was implemented to provide huge profit margins for wholesalers, ED stated in court. According to ED, the 12% wholesale profit margin to private firms was never considered during the GoM meeting. The investigation agency also informed the court about the meeting between Vijay Nair and K Kavitha (BRS MLC).

According to the ED, accused Butchibabu Gorantla revealed a political agreement between then-Dy CM Manish Sisodia and K Kavitha, who also met with Vijay Nair. Butchibabu is a former auditor for K Kavitha who is currently out on bail. In response to Sisodia’s counsel’s arguments, the ED lawyer told the court that if the policy is a matter of executive discretion, there would be no coal or 2G scams.

Earlier this week, the ED detained Sisodia on suspicion of money laundering in connection with the excise policy investigation. He was arrested while being held in Tihar Prison under Judicial custody.

After hours of questioning at Tihar Prison, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) detained former Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia in the liquor policy case on March 9. The CBI detained Sisodia in the liquor policy case on February 26 and sentenced him to 14 days in judicial detention on March 6.

Meanwhile, the ED made another arrest in the case, taking Hyderabad-based businessman Arun Ramchandra Pillai into jail. The ED summoned Bharatiya Rashtriya Samiti (BRS) MLC and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao’s daughter K Kavitha for questioning in connection with the liquor policy issue on Thursday.

The CBI had previously arrested Sisodia as part of its continuing probe into suspected irregularities in the formulation and implementation of the National Capital Territory of Delhi’s excise policy (GNCTD). The Rouse Avenue Court in Delhi committed him to Judicial Custody until March 20.