Liquor Policy Case: Delhi High Court Rejects Manish Sisodia's Bail Plea, He'll Move Supreme Court
Manish Sisodia, former Delhi deputy chief minister, has been denied bail by the Delhi High Court in a CBI case regarding the alleged liquor policy scam in the state.
The bail plea was dismissed by a single-judge bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma who deemed the allegations against Sisodia as serious. According to sources, reported NDTV, Sisodia plans to challenge this decision in the Supreme Court.
The high court stated that Sisodia's release on bail could potentially influence witnesses due to his influential status, as they pronounced their verdict on his bail plea.
Opposing bail, the CBI argued that granting it would seriously harm the investigation, especially since the applicant did not pass the 'triple test' for bail. While personal freedom is important, reasonable limitations, including the welfare of the state and public, should be considered, stated the CBI.
"The applicant (Sisodia) enjoys close nexus with the executive, offices and bureaucrats and his influence and clout is evident. His party colleagues holding high ranks continue to make factually wrong claims in order to influence the investigation and also claim the applicant to be a victim of a political vendetta," CBI said in the HC.
CBI opposed bail by highlighting AAP leaders' statements in press conferences, suggesting they were trying to protect the accused and the party as a whole.
"The statements also undermine the authority of the Special Judge (CBI), having already taken cognizance of the offences, and are being made to adversely impact the investigation by levelling unwarranted and unsubstantiated allegations against the CBI, thereby influencing and deterring the witnesses of the case," it said.
Sisodia's lawyer, Dayan Krishnan, argued that the CBI lacks evidence for his client's alleged involvement in the excise policy's irregularities.
Sisodia is the only accused in the CBI case who has not been released on bail, Krishnan said.
In his bail application, Sisodia argued that there's no evidence to suggest that he poses a threat to witnesses in the case against him, who are mainly civil servants that he no longer has control over since he resigned from his official post.
The Delhi court extended the AAP leader's judicial custody until 1 June and instructed the prison officials to consider providing a chair, table, and books in the cell, based on the supplementary charge sheet filed by the CBI.
The CBI is investigating alleged irregularities in the implementation of the excise policy in Delhi, with claims that Manish Sisodia formulated and implemented the Excise policy in a way to facilitate monopolisation and cartelisation of the liquor trade in Delhi.
AAP leader reportedly confessed to destroying two phones which he was using before July 2022, as per CBI.
CBI accused Sisodia of using three phones from 1 January 2020 until 19 August 2022. His recent phone was confiscated during the investigation.
Sisodia was arrested by CBI on 26 February, over six months after the FIR was filed.
Delhi's excise policy was implemented on 17 November 2021 but was canceled at the end of September 2022 due to allegations of corruption.
Manish Sisodia is accused by CBI and Enforcement Directorate in the matter.
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