A municipal court in Delhi extended the judicial custody of former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Thursday (19 October) in the now abandoned excise policy case until 22 November, Live Hindustan reported.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) presented Sisodia before the court. After giving some directions to the CBI, the court scheduled the hearing of the case to 22 November. Sisodia's judicial custody has also been extended until then.
The court directed the CBI to provide copies of all documents related to the three chargesheet against the accused in the case. Additionally, the court instructed the investigating officer to submit an application for the inspection of documents kept in the CBI headquarters warehouse related to the accused.
The court also directed the CBI to provide the defense lawyer of the accused with time for document inspection every day from 2 PM to 7 PM. In the court, Sisodia was seen talking to his lawyers with a smile during the presentation.
The judicial custody of Sisodia has been extended at a time when his bail plea is pending in the Supreme Court. The apex court has kept its decision reserved after completing the hearing.
The Supreme Court conveyed to the Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday that if the alleged bribe paid for manipulating the Delhi excise policy is not considered a part of a predicate offence, proving the charge of money laundering against Manish Sisodia could be challenging.
Sisodia was arrested by the CBI on 26 February and has remained in custody since then. The ED arrested him in the money laundering case linked to the CBI FIR on 9 March.
Resigning from the Delhi cabinet on 28 February, Sisodia's arrest pertained to the Delhi government's excise policy implemented on 17 November 2021. The policy was later scrapped in September 2022 amid corruption allegations.
Investigating agencies claim that the revised policy favored certain entities for monetary benefits, resulting in cartelization and favoring ineligible candidates for liquor licenses. Both Sisodia and the Delhi government have denied any wrongdoing, asserting that the new policy aimed to increase the state's excise revenue.
Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.
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