Manish Sisodia links CBI summons to BJP setback in SC over mayoral polls
19 February, 2023 | Pragati Singh
Manish Sisodia linked the CBI summons against him in the excise policy case to the Supreme Court's verdict on the MCD mayoral elections.
Manish Sisodia, Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister, on Sunday linked the CBI summons against him in the excise policy case to the Supreme Court’s verdict on the MCD mayoral elections on Friday, which he claimed was a smack in the face to the BJP.
Sisodia, who is also the Finance Minister, told ANI on Sunday that he received the CBI summons on Saturday, just a day after the Supreme Court ordered that the election for Mayor of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) be held first and that nominated persons have no right to vote in Corporation meetings.
A bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud further asked the authority in charge to issue a notice for the election of the mayor, adding that the first meeting of the MCD should be held within 24 hours. The court also ordered that the notice mention the date of the election of the mayor, deputy mayor, and other members.
Later that day, L-G VK Saxena authorised the request to hold a Municipal Corporation of Delhi meeting on February 22 to elect the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, and six members of the standing committee.
“If we look at the sequence of events, the Supreme Court gave its decision on MCD polls on Friday evening, dealing a blow to the BJP,”If we look at the sequence of events, the Supreme Court gave its decision on MCD polls on Friday evening, dealing a blow to the BJP. Just a day later, on Saturday, I received CBI summons (in the excise policy case), which said I was to appear on Sunday, at a time when I am busy preparing the Budget,” the deputy CM said.
“I can accept the BJP coming after me after the SC ruling came as a slap on its face. It is the level of politics they resort to. But what I find unacceptable and wrong is that they are doing this at a time when the Budget is at its finishing stage and any delay in the process could bring our work for the city and its people to a halt,” he added.
He stated that he has asked the CBI to summon him for questioning at any point after submitting the Budget to the Union by the end of this month.
“I have cooperated with CBI’s investigation in the excise policy case in every possible way but this is a crucial time for Delhi as the Budget I am preparing is at its final stage and I have to send it to the Centre by February-end. I have requested the CBI to let me finalise the Budget and summon me after. I will answer every question,” he added.
On Sunday, Sisodia was scheduled to appear in the national capital to respond to the CBI summons in the excise policy case. According to authorities, the CBI summoned Sisodia roughly three months after filing a chargesheet in the Delhi excise policy case.
However, Sisodia is not mentioned as an accused in the case’s chargesheet. The chargesheet names seven defendants, including arrested businessmen Vijay Nair and Abhishek. In connection with the case, the CBI searched Sisodia’s bank locker in August of last year. The deputy CM said that the sleuths found no evidence of wrongdoing in his locker.
According to a CBI officer, several raids were conducted last year at 21 locations in Delhi and the National Capital Region, including Sisodia’s residence and the offices of four public workers. The raids were also done in seven states.
The CBI opened an investigation into the case after receiving a report from the Delhi chief secretary seeking an investigation by the central agency. (