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Delhi court denies bail to AAP leader Manish Sisodia in liquor scam case

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A local court in Delhi on Friday refused to grant bail to former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Manish Sisodia in a case registered against him by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for his alleged involvement in the now-scrapped Delhi Excise Policy 2020-21.

Special CBI Judge M.K. Nagpal of the Rouse Avenue Court delivered the verdict today, after keeping it reserved on April 18.

Earlier on April 25, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had filed a supplementary charge sheet in the court, officially naming for the first time, former Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Manish Sisodia as an accused in the Delhi Excise Policy scam case. 

The national agency further named liquor businessman Amandeep Dhall, Hyderabad-based Chartered Accountant Butchi Babu Gorantla and alleged middleman Arjun Pandey as accused in the case. 

After CBI filed the supplementary charge sheet, Special CBI judge M.K. Nagpal at Rouse Avenue Court posted the matter for arguments on May 12.

In addition to provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, the national agency has invoked Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 201 and 420 of IPC.

CBI stated in its charge sheet that the investigation was ongoing to probe the larger conspiracy and the role of other accused in the case. It had filed the first charge sheet in the case on November 25, 2022.

Earlier on April 20, Sisodia had apprised the Delhi High Court that CBI could not find any evidence of money trail linking him to the Excise Policy scam case of 2022.

The Single-Judge Bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma had posted the matter to April 26 for submissions by the CBI Counsel.

CBI had arrested the AAP leader on February 26 after an interrogation of more than eight hours. He has since remained behind bars. On April 17, a Delhi court had extended his judicial custody till April 29.

Both the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the ED have filed cases against him under the Prevention of Corruption (PC) and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), respectively.

(Case title: Manish Sisodia vs CBI)

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