Delhi excise policy case: Court extends Manish Sisodia’s judicial custody in CBI, ED cases

17 April, 2023 | Anupam Shrivastav

Delhi excise policy Political

Rouse Avenue Court on Monday extended the judicial custody of former Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi and Aam Aadmi Party leader Manish Sisodia.

In the latest development on the Delhi excise policy case, Rouse Avenue Court on Monday extended the judicial custody of former Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi and Aam Aadmi Party leader Manish Sisodia in ED and CBI cases associated with purported irregularities in the now-shelved excise policy.

Delhi excise policy, Sisodia’s judicial custody in the CBI investigation and the ED case was extended by Special Judge MK Nagpal on Monday to April 27 and April 29, respectively. Following the conclusion of his judicial prison period, the AAP leader was physically brought before the court today from Tihar.

The special judge in Delhi excise policy case justice Nagpal dismissed Sisodia’s request for bail, saying that as he was only arrested in this matter on February 26, 2023, and since the charges against him are serious in nature, he does not deserve to be released on bail at this time since he was arrested in the case on 26.02.2023 only and other co-accused involved in the case whose roles are still being probed, even though the inquiry into his role in the case has not been finished.

The court further added that the petitioner Manish Sisodia does not even pass the triple test. In light of his behavior, which is demonstrated by the destruction or non-production of his previous mobile phones from the relevant time period and his apparent role in failing to produce or missing the file for one Cabinet Note submitted by the then-Excise Commissioner Rahul Singh, there may be serious concerns about the destruction or tampering of additional evidence as well as the influence of some of the case’s key witnesses.

According the allegations filed by the CBI, Sisodia was deeply involved in the creation and implementation of the aforementioned policies to guarantee that the goals of the criminal conspiracy were achieved. He also played the most significant and crucial part in the criminal conspiracy.

Delhi excise policy, The court noted that around Rs 90–100 crores in advance kickbacks were intended for him and his other GNCTD coworkers, with Rs 20–30 crores of that amount discovered to have been routed through co-accused Vijay Nair, Abhishek Boinpally, and approver Dinesh Arora. As a result, the applicant was given permission to modify and manipulate the excise policy to further serve the interests of the South liquor lobby and to guarantee the repayment of the kickbacks.

The evidence gathered thus far makes it abundantly clear that the applicant, through the co-accused Vijay Nair, was in contact with the South lobby and that formulation of a favorable policy for them was ensured at all costs. A cartel was allowed to form in order to achieve a monopoly in the sale of specific spirits brands produced by preferred manufacturers, and this was permitted despite the policy’s stated goals.

Based on the prosecution’s accusations and the evidence that has been gathered so far in support of them, the applicant can thus be deemed to be the mastermind behind the aforementioned criminal conspiracy, the Court said. Manish Sisodia, in his bail plea put up in the trial court said that his detention would serve no useful purpose because all recoveries in the case had already been made.

He also stated that he joined the inquiry as and when the CBI requested it. Sisodia continued by pointing out that the other suspects detained in this matter had already been given bail and that he held the significant constitutional position of deputy chief minister of Delhi, a position with strong ties to the community.

Prior to this, the Rouse Avenue Court ordered that Sisodia be sent on CBI remand and that during that time, the accused would undergo questioning at a location with CCTV coverage in accordance with the rules established by the Supreme Court, with the CBI keeping a copy of the footage that was recorded.

ED and CBI had arrested Manish Sisodia in relation to the inquiry of alleged irregularities in the formulation and implementation of excise policy of government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi.