The Delhi High Court on Tuesday dismissed the bail plea of Manish Sisodia, the former Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, in a CBI case related to alleged corruption in the implementation of the previous liquor policy in the national capital.
The bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma denied bail to Sisodia and said that the applicant (Sisodia) being a powerful person, there is the possibility of him influencing the witnesses. During arguments, the CBI had opposed the bail plea moved by Manish Sisodia and stated, “The applicant (Sisodia) enjoys close nexus with the executive, offices and bureaucrats and his influence and clout is evident. His party colleagues holding high ranks continue to make factually wrong claims in order to influence the investigation and also claiming the applicant to be a victim of a political vendetta.”
A perusal of the said statements by this political leader (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 in its reply opposing bail plea of Sisodia, CBI said.
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 said the CBI.
CBI in its reply filed in Delhi High Court stated that any release of the Applicant on bail shall gravely prejudice the investigation herein, more specifically when the Applicant fails to meet the ‘triple test’ for bail. While personal liberty is paramount, the same is not absolute but subject to reasonable restrictions, including the interest of the state and the public.
During the arguements earlier, Manish Sisodia through Senior Advocate Dayan Krishnan submitted that the Central Bureau of Investigation has no evidence to show his involvement in the alleged irregularities in the framing and implementation of the excise policy of the Government.
The lawyer submitted that every accused in the CBI case has been released on bail except Sisodia. Sisodia was arrested on February 26, 2023, more than 6 months after the Registration of FIR in the matter. And during the entirety of said investigation of 6 months before the arrest of the applicant, there was not a single that Applicant extended any threat to any witness.
Sisodia in his bail stated that the possibility of a threat to witness cannot be said to arise without there being any material or antecedents of the Applicant. The witnesses in this case against the applicant are primarily civil servants, over whom the Applicant exercises no control, especially now since he has resigned from his official post.
Earlier the Delhi HC had issued notice to CBI on a bail plea moved by Manish Sisodia challenging a trial court order denying bail to him in a CBI case related to Excise.
Sisodia was arrested by the CBI on February 26, 2023, and is presently in Judicial custody. His bail plea was on March 31, 2023, by the trial Court in the case.
The trial Court while dismissing Sisodia’s bail plea said, “The court is not inclined to release him on bail at this stage of investigation of the case as his release may adversely affect the ongoing investigation and will also seriously hamper the progress”
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 the achievement of the 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,” stated 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 the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
Earlier, the trial court noted that the accused had joined the investigation of this case on two earlier occasions, but he had failed to provide satisfactory answers to most of the questions put to him during his examination and interrogation, thus, failing to legitimately explain the incriminating evidence which allegedly surfaced against him during the investigation.