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The court, on May 11, had reserved the order in the bail plea filed by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Manish Sisodia in the CBI case in connection with the "Delhi liquor scam".
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday “dismissed” the bail plea filed by former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Manish Sisodia in a case registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the Delhi excise policy scam case.
While dismissing the bail plea, the bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma said, "The allegations made are very serious in nature. That the excise policy was formed at the instance of the 'South Group' with malafide intention to get an undue advantage through them. Manish Sisodia was a public servant and was holding a very high position. The statement of the concerned excise officer has been relied upon by the CBI, the court is restraining itself in making any comments & minute examination of the material on record so that no prejudice is caused to the applicant."
"This court is clear of the fact that Excise Policy has not been examined in the present proceedings nor the ... framing of the economic policy. The court has also not examined the administrative decision of the government. However, because there are serious allegations of misconduct against the petitioner (Manish Sisodia). The petition being an influential person... and having 18 portfolios, and most of the witnesses are public servants, there is a possibility of witnesses being influenced", the court added.
"The possibility of the witnesses being influenced cannot be put down. In the facts and circumstances, this court is of the considered view that the petitioner (Manish Sisodia) is not entitled to bail. Accordingly, the present petition along with applications if any, is dismissed", the court ordered.
Notably, on May 11, the single-judge bench had "reserved order" in Sisodia's bail plea. Sisodia is currently under judicial custody in both CBI and ED cases.
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju had appeared for CBI and Senior Advocates Dayan Krishnan and Mohit Mathur had appeared for Sisodia.
Opposing the bail plea, ASG Raju had contended that if Manish Sisodia is given bail, he will influence evidence. The ASG had submitted that "5% to 12% in the interest rate was made to get the kickback money. He (Sisodia) made the policy in such a way that guaranteed return in the form of kickbacks comes”. He had argued that it was a bonafide conspiracy with ulterior motives. There are no notes, no discussion, nothing at all, nothing on how 5-12% interest rates were made, he had said.
The ASG had submitted that "5% to 12% in the interest rate was made to get the kickback money. He (Sisodia) made the policy in such a way that guaranteed return in the form of kickbacks comes”. He had argued that it was a bonafide conspiracy with ulterior motives. There are no notes, no discussion, nothing at all, nothing on how 5-12% interest rates were made, he had said.
Senior Advocates Dayan Krishnan and Mohit Mathur, on behalf of Sisodia had contended that “no evidence of money trail had been found from Sisodia by the CBI”. The senior counsel had submitted, “All the allegations about me being capable of influencing anyone, etc., is not there at all. All the allegations regarding money are likely to be coming towards me, all that is in the realm of likelihood. There is nothing on paper. Nothing concrete. No money trail has been found”.
Krishnan had contended that the agency had alleged that Sisodia did not cooperate in the investigation, which could not be ground for not allowing bail. “I am not required to cooperate, confess, or answer questions in the way they (CBI) want. I am required to answer in the way I want, that is the constitutional guarantee,” he had argued.
Notably, Sisodia’s bail plea in the CBI case was 'dismissed' by Special Judge MK Nagpal of Rouse Avenue Court, Delhi on March 31. While rejecting the bail plea, the court had stated that Sisodia played "the most important and vital role" in the criminal conspiracy, and he had been "deeply involved" in the formulation and implementation of the said policy.
Earlier, on February 28, a CJI DY Chandrachud-led bench of the Supreme Court dismissed former Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia's plea challenging his arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in an alleged case of corruption relating to liquor excise policy. The bench also comprising Justice PS Narasimha had held that "other efficacious remedies were available" to Sisodia.
It is CBI's case that there were alleged irregularities in the framing and implementation of the excise policy for the year 2021-22. On February 26, the CBI commenced a second round of questioning after Sisodia was earlier questioned on October 17 last year. Chargesheet in the matter was filed on November 25, 2022.
Case Title: Manish Sisodia v. Central Bureau of Investigation
Statue: The Code of Criminal Procedure
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