Updated May 21st, 2024 at 19:37 IST

'Great Betrayal of Democratic Principles': Delhi HC Denies Bail to Manish Sisodia in Liquor Scam

The Delhi High Court denied bail to AAP leader Manish Sisodia in the Delhi Liquor Policy Scam case being probed by the ED and CBI.

Reported by: Abhishek Tiwari
Delhi High Court rejects Manish Sisodia's bail plea | Image:PTI/File
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New Delhi: The Delhi High Court (HC) on Tuesday denied bail to former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister and AAP leader Manish Sisodia in the Delhi Liquor Policy Scam case being probed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). While hearing on the bail plea of Sisodia, the HC observed that Manish Sisodia manufactured and fabricated feedback from the public to draft the now scrapped Delhi Excise Policy. Earlier, last week, the court concluded hearing submissions made by the AAP leaders’s lawyers and counsels appearing for both the central probe agencies. The court has reserved its verdict for May 14.

According to the sources, a bench of Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma stated that the high court can apply its own mind to decide the bail on merits in addition to the condition of delay in trial imposed by the Supreme Court's order in October 2023. The HC cited that the prosecution had established a prima facie case of money laundering under Section 3 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

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The court noted that Sisodia is accused of destroying crucial evidence

The court noted that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader’s conduct amounted to a great betrayal of democratic principles and observed that the purpose of the excise policy was to make such a policy which would be beneficial for some people and could also bring bribes.

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During the proceedings, the court also mentioned that Sisodia is accused of destroying crucial evidence, including electronic evidence. The judge mentioned two mobile phones were reportedly damaged.

The bench said that the Supreme Court’s order does not restrict the High Court and the trial court on considering the bail plea on merits of the case. 

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As per the reports, during the last hearing, the ED and the CBI argued on merits of the case while Manish Sisodia's counsel restricted his arguments to delay in the trial court and the Supreme Court's observation in October 2023 order rejecting bail to Manish Sisodia.

In the same hearing the ED had told the Delhi High Court that it will make the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) an accused in the money laundering case in the alleged Delhi Liquor policy scam in its next chargesheet.

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Trial Court Extended Judicial Custody Till May 31

Earlier in the day, a Delhi court extended the judicial custody of AAP leader Manish Sisodia till May 31 in the money laundering case related to the Delhi excise policy scam case. Special Judge Kaveri Baweja ordered the extension of Sisodia's custody after the expiry of his judicial custody granted earlier.

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Pertinently, the ED had arrested Delhi’s former deputy CM on March 9, 2023, while the CBI arrested him in its ongoing investigation of a case related to the alleged irregularities in the framing and implementation of the excise policy of Delhi. 

 

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Published May 21st, 2024 at 19:18 IST