Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Manish Sisodia’s CBI custody ends, to be produced in court today

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Former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who was arrested in the Delhi excise policy case and taken into CBI custody, will appear in court on Monday.

He was apprehended by the investigating agency in connection with alleged irregularities in the formulation and implementation of the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi’s excise policy (GNCTD). Following his arrest, he resigned as Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister on February 28.

Meanwhile, on March 4, the Rouse Avenue Court extended Sisodia’s detention by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the Delhi liquor scam case. Manish Sisodia was remanded for two more days by Special Judge MK Nagpal.

The Court also issued a notice to the CBI on Sisodia’s bail application and set the matter for March 10.

While seeking further remand of Sisodia, CBI counsel had stated, “He’s still non-cooperative and we need his further custody to confront him with two persons.” “A lot of time went in his medicals. One whole day went in the petition he filed in the Supreme Court which was dismissed,” CBI had told the Court.

Senior Advocate Dayan Krishan had appeared for Sisodia opposing the CBI application seeking an extension of remand and submitted that “What is the difference between what was on day 1 and today? Raids were conducted at my house and my office too… keeping me in CBI custody would produce a document, is this logical???”

Senior Advocate Mohit Mathur had also appeared for Sisodia and submitted that while considering all of this my wife’s medical condition is being kept aside. “The man who is not going to run away has to be seen that way too,” he said.

During the hearing, Manish Sisodia himself submitted in the court that CBI officials are taking care of me, treating me respectfully and giving all things and not using any third degree. “But they are making me sit so long 9-10 hours daily and asking the same questions again and again… it is not less not mental harassment,” he said. On that, Court directed CBI not to ask repetitive questions.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader’s bail petition in a trial court stated that keeping him in custody would serve no useful purpose because all recoveries had already been made.

Sisodia also stated that he has participated in the investigation as needed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The bail for the other accused in this case has already been granted. Sisodia went on to say that he holds the important constitutional position of Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi and has deep roots in the community.

The Rouse Avenue Court had previously directed that the interrogation of the accused during the remand period be conducted at a location with CCTV coverage in accordance with Supreme Court guidelines, and that the said footage be preserved by the CBI.

While remanding Sisodia to the CBI, the trial court noted that while the accused had previously joined the investigation of this case on two occasions, he had also failed to provide satisfactory answers to most of the questions put to him during his examination and interrogation, and thus had failed to legitimately explain the incriminating evidence which had allegedly surfaced against him in the investigation conducted thus far.

True, he cannot be expected to make self-incriminating statements, but the interests of justice and a fair investigation require that he provide some legitimate answers to the questions posed to him by the Investigation officer, according to the court.

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