BREAKING| [Excise Policy Scam] Delhi Court dismisses Former Deputy CM Manish Sisodia’s bail plea in ED Case

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The court, on April 18, had reserved the order in the bail plea filed by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Manish Sisodia in the ED case in connection with the "Delhi Liquor Scam".

Special Judge MK Nagpal of Rouse Avenue Court, Delhi on Friday "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 Directorate of Enforcement (ED) in connection with Delhi liquor scam case. 

The judge on Wednesday had “deferred”  the pronouncement of order in the bail plea filed by the former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister to April 28 i.e. today.

It is to be noted that the court had 'reserved the order' in the plea on April 18. Sisodia is currently under judicial custody in the CBI case till May 12 and in the ED case till April 29. 

Opposing the bail plea, Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Zoheb Hossain had earlier contended, “It is a 'Pendrive Policy' given to Mr. Arvind, Secretary of Manish Sisodia to copy paste it”. 

He had also submitted that the suggestion of the expert committee for excise policy was to invite individuals and give only two retail vents. In Delhi, it used to happen through a lottery system, so that nobody has any idea who is picked, but Sisodia opted not to use this lottery system, he had argued.

"Not a shred of evidence why private wholesalers were opted instead of government... Conspiracy was hatched in secrecy; all the elements of conspiracy are present," he had said.

The SPP had submitted that Sanjay Goel, the then Excise Commissioner had stated that there was no discussion of giving wholesale to private players. “He is the man who has the confidence over the administration, he is the man who signs all the documents on day to day basis”, he had added.

Notably, Sisodia had been denied bail by the Special Judge in CBI's case related to the Delhi liquor policy scam on March 31. Sisodia has challenged the trial court order denying him bail before the Delhi High Court, and the same is being heard before the bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma. 

On February 28, a CJI DY Chandrachud led bench of the Supreme Court dismissed 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 then held that "other efficacious remedies are available" to Sisodia.

On February 27, a Delhi court remanded Sisodia to CBI's custody till March 4. The CBI judge had allowed CBI's request after Sisodia was arrested on Sunday after an interrogation of more than 8 hours. 

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. The first chargesheet in the matter was filed on November 25, 2022. CBI had filed a supplementary chargesheet before the Special Judge on April 25, 2023, against Sisodia, Butchi Babu Gorantla, Arjun Pandey, and Amandeep Singh Dhall under Sections 120B, 201 and 420 of IPC and Sections 7, 7A, 8 and 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act. 

It is also to be noted that Sisodia was also arrested by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) on March 9 evening, in connection with the Delhi Liquor scam case.

Case Title: Manish Sisodia v. Directorate of Enforcement 

Statue: The Prevention of Money Laundering Act; The Code of Criminal Procedure; The Indian Penal Code; The Prevention of Corruption Act