[Excise Policy Scam] “Ensure VC meeting of Manish Sisodia with his wife every alternate day”: Delhi HC directs Jail Superintendent

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Sisodia has moved the high court seeking interim bail citing ill health of his wife. 

The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the Jail Superintendent of Tihar Jail to ensure video conference meetings of AAP leader Manish Sisodia with his wife every alternate day as per jail rules till the disposal of his bail application. Sisodia is currently in judicial custody in ED and CBI cases in connection with the Delhi excise policy scam case.

The single judge bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma ordered, “The superintendent of jail to ensure VC meetings [of Manish Sisodia] with his wife on every alternate day between 3 to 4 pm till disposal of the bail application as per Jail Rules”.

The single-judge bench was hearing the interim bail plea filed by Sisodia citing ill health of his wife. Sisodia had moved the Delhi High Court seeking ‘interim bail’ in the case registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the excise policy scam on April 3. 

Notably, on April 4, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju appearing for CBI opposed Sisodia's interim bail plea, and contended, “There is suppression of relevant facts and misleading statements have been made in the application for temporary bail. On a limited ground, it has to go, and in any case, he (Sisodia) should go before the trial court first”.

Pointing out the misleading statements made by Sisodia in the interim bail application, Raju had submitted that the application was filed on May 2. Referring to the discharge memo of the hospital, he had contended, “The condition of the applicant’s wife has worsened recently, she has suffered an acute attack of multiple sclerosis. She was hospitalized on April 25”.

“His (Sisodia’s) wife has been discharged from the hospital on April 27, much prior to them filing this application. The tenor is that she is hospitalized. They have not said that she has been discharged from the hospital. They have suppressed the fact that the wife was discharged. Let them point out from the application where they have said that the wife has been discharged and her condition has improved, on the contrary, they have stated it has worsened. This is deliberate”, the ASG had argued.

To this, Advocate Vivek Jain for Sisodia had argued that they had stated in the very “mentioning memo” itself, that Sisodia's wife had been discharged.

Opposing the plea, Raju had said, “They cleverly and shrewdly, with a view to mislead the court, file an application on May 2 suppressing the fact that the wife was discharged.  They were aware that either we would find this out or we won’t find this out. If we don’t find it out, this court would have been under the impression that the wife is in the hospital and an order would have been passed on that basis….This is a clear case of overreaching the court. They have concealed a vital fact while seeking bail on medical grounds…The application is drafted 6-7 days after the wife is discharged. Discharge note says she has improved”.

Jain, on behalf of Sisodia, had pointed out portions of the interim bail plea, which stated, “After being admitted to hospital. The applicant’s wife was given IV for two days to help her symptoms. She was given antibiotics. Doctors also got opinions from other specialists to help treat…..the deterioration of her condition is objectively alarming. The applicant’s wife has a significantly reduced ability to function independently and is in need of regular care and monitoring at home”.

“I have said so that she's at home. If he wants to twist that statement and put words in my mouth and he wants to dictate how I should place my application, then that’s something else. I have said so in my application. This is a kind of red herring he wants to do... You are putting words in our mouths. There is not a single statement made in that application that my presence is required at the hospital. On the contrary, I have said that my (Sisodia’s) presence is required at home because the recovery is very important..and in fact, there is a ground on that point. So, this whole thing with the objection, by way of taking a preliminary objection to actually scuttle the merits itself. You don’t see the medical certificate saying that the lady has 50% disability…there is a certificate of doctor there is no bowel movement”, Jain had argued.

Conclusively, Jain had argued that “He doesn’t want to read medical reports on merits. He wants to argue on preliminary points”.

Case Title: Manish Sisodia v. Central Bureau of Investigation