Sisodia’s party colleagues making factually wrong claims to influence probe: CBI in Delhi HC

21 April, 2023 | Vaishali Sharma

Manish Sisodia National

CBI denied bail to Delhi's former deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia on Thursday, claiming that his party colleagues in high positions in government were making false claims to influence the inve...

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) denied bail to Delhi’s former deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia on Thursday, claiming that his party colleagues in high positions in government were making false claims to influence the investigation.

“The applicant (Sisodia) enjoys a nexus with the executive, offices and bureaucrats and his influence and clout are evident. His party colleagues, holding high ranks, continue to make factually wrong claims in order to influence the investigation and also claim the applicant to be the victim of a political vendetta,” CBI mentioned, opposing the bail plea. A perusal of the said statements by these political leaders (s) during the press conferences would reveal how the entire efforts of not only the applicant but his party colleagues as a whole are to shield the accused, stated CBI.

“The statements also undermine the authority of the Special Judge (CBI), having already taken cognizance of the offences, and are being made to adversely impact the investigation by levelling unwarranted and unsubstantiated allegations against the CBI, thereby influencing and deterring the witnesses of the case,” it said.

In its response, the CBI stated that any release of the applicant on bail would seriously jeopardise the investigation, particularly if the applicant failed to meet the ‘triple test’ for bail. While personal liberty is paramount, it is not absolute and is subject to reasonable constraints, such as the interests of the state and the public.

During Thursday’s arguments, Sisodia, through senior advocate Dayan Krishnan, claimed that the CBI lacked evidence to prove his involvement in the alleged irregularities in the formulation and implementation of the government’s excise policy.

His lawyer submitted that every accused in the CBI case has been released on bail, with the exception Sisodia.

“Sisodia was arrested on 26.02.2023 which is more than six months after the registration of FIR in the matter. During the entirety of the said investigation in the six months before the arrest of the applicant, there was not a single instance where the applicant extended any threat to any witness,” the lawyer submitted.

Sisodia (applicant) stated in his bail plea that the possibility of a threat to a witness cannot be said to exist unless the applicant has any material or antecedents. The witnesses in this case against the applicant are mostly civil servants over whom the applicant has no authority, especially now that he has resigned from his official position.

Following the conclusion of Sisodia’s lawyer’s submission arguments, the bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma set April 26 as the next date for hearing CBI arguments.