After investigations by the Central Bureau of Investigations and the Enforcement Directorate in the coal and cattle smuggling cases, another central investigating agency
The Rouse Avenue Court on Monday extended the judicial custody of Delhi’s former Deputy Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party leader Manish Sisodia in ED and CBI cases related to alleged irregularities in the now-scrapped excise policy.
On Monday, Special Judge MK Nagpal extended Sisodia’s judicial custody in the CBI case till April 27 and in the ED case till April 29, 2023. The AAP leader was produced physically before the court today from Tihar, after the end of his judicial custody period. Recently, Special Judge Nagpal had denied bail to Sisodia stating that the allegations made against him are serious in nature and at this stage of the case, he does not deserve to be released on bail as he has been arrested in this case only on 26.02.2023 and investigation even qua his role has still not been completed, what to say about some other co-accused involved in the case whose roles are also yet being investigated.
Further, the applicant Manish Sisodia does not even satisfy the triple test keeping in view his conduct as reflected by the destruction or non-production of his previous mobile phones of the relevant period and also the apparent role played by him in not producing or missing of the file of one Cabinet Note put up through the then Excise Commissioner Rahul Singh, there may be serious apprehensions of destruction or tampering of some further evidence and even of influencing of some prime witnesses of this case by him or at his instance, in case he is released on bail by the court, the court said.
According to the CBI, Sisodia had played the most important and vital role in the criminal conspiracy and he had been deeply involved in the formulation as well as the implementation of the said policy to ensure achievement of objectives of the said conspiracy.
The payment of advance kickbacks of around Rs 90-100 crores was meant for him and his other colleagues in the GNCTD and Rs 20-30 crores out of the above are found to have been routed through the co-accused Vijay Nair, Abhishek Boinpally and approver Dinesh Arora and in turn, certain provisions of the excise policy were permitted to be tweaked and manipulated by the applicant to protect and preserve the interests of South liquor lobby and to ensure repayment of the kickbacks to the said lobby, noted the court.
The evidence collected so far clearly shows that the applicant through the co-accused Vijay Nair was in contact with the South lobby and formulation of a favourable policy for them was being ensured at every cost and a cartel was permitted to be formed to achieve a monopoly in sale of certain liquor brands of favoured manufacturers and it was permitted to be done against very objectives of the policy.
Thus, as per allegations made by the prosecution and the evidence collected in support thereof so far, the applicant can prima facie be held to be the architect of the said criminal conspiracy, noted the Court.
Sisodia, in his bail petition in a trial court, had stated that no fruitful purpose would be served to keep him in custody as all the recoveries in the case have already been made.
Sisodia also stated that he joined the investigation as and when called for by the CBI. The other accused persons arrested in this case have already been granted bail, Sisodia noted further, adding that he held the important constitutional post of deputy CM of Delhi and has deep roots in the society.
Earlier, the Rouse Avenue Court, while sending Sisodia to CBI remand, directed that the interrogation of the accused during the remand period shall be conducted at some place having CCTV coverage, in accordance with guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court and the said footage shall be preserved by the CBI.
Sisodia was arrested by CBI and ED in an ongoing investigation of a case related to alleged irregularities in the framing and implementation of the excise policy of Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi.