Supreme Court dismisses Manish Sisodia's review plea against earlier order denying bail in Excise Policy Scam [READ ORDER]

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Top court also rejected the prayer made by Sisodia for oral hearing of the review petitions

Yesterday, a division bench of the Supreme Court dismissed the review petition filed by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and to former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia challenging the court's earlier order denying him bail in the Delhi excise policy scam case. 

"Prayer for oral hearing of the review petitions is rejected. We have carefully perused the review petitions as also the grounds in support thereof. In our opinion, no case for review of the judgment dated 30.10.2023 is made out. The review petitions are, accordingly, dismissed.", a bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and SVN Bhatti has observed.

Sisodia had filed the instant review plea in November after a division bench on October 30, 2023 had refused to grant him bail. While not granting any relief to the AAP leader, a bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and SVN Bhatti had directed that the trial be completed by 6-8 months.

Court had further added that if trial proceeds slowly Sisodia would be eligible to apply for bail again in three months. 

Supreme Court had in July had agreed to hear Sisodia's bail application after senior counsel Singhvi had mentioned the same before a bench of CJI DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha. Singhvi had underlined the urgency for hearing Sisodia saying his wife was unwell and had to be hospitalised again

Sisodia approached the Supreme Court, challenging the Delhi High Court's July 3rd order whereby a single judge bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma had 'denied' bail to him.

Justice Sharma, while denying bail to Sisodia, had said, "The allegations are that deliberate loopholes were made to facilitate illegal and criminal activity. It is also pertinent to mention that investigations have revealed that 65% stakes were given to 'South Group' in Indo Spirits to make it a mechanism of continuous generation and channelization of proceeds of crime".

High Court had also noted that the ED has alleged that emails were planted by Manish Sisodia to show that there was public support to the recommendation of the group of meetings (GoM). It also noted that there was Sisodia's role in the conspiracy to allow illegal benefits in lieu of kickbacks of Rs. 100 crore.  

Notably, Sisodia has been denied bail by the High Court in the CBI case also. While denying bail to him in the CBI case, the court had observed, "The allegations are very serious...the gravity and allegations do not entitle the accused to be admitted to bail". Court had taken cognizance of the fact that since the party of the applicant was in power and the primary witnesses involved were public servants, there was a potential case of influencing the witnesses thereby hampering the due process of law.

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 vs. CBI Etc