AAP leader Manish Sisodia alleges manhandling in court premises, Delhi court directs Delhi Police to preserve footage

A local court in Delhi on Thursday directed the Delhi Police to produce former Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia through video-conferencing, after the Aam Aadmi Party leader alleged that he was mishandled in the court premises.

Special CBI judge M.K. Nagpal at the Rouse Avenue Court further ordered the Delhi Police to preserve the CCTV footage after the Advocate representing Sisodia informed the court that during the last hearing, while the AAP leader was answering the media queries, police officials dragged him by his neck.

The Counsel said that no AAP worker was present on the spot, when the alleged mishandling with Sisodia took place. He sought directions from the court to get the CCTV footage of the incident.

On the other hand, the Delhi Police filed an application in the court seeking permission to produce Sisodia through video-conferencing only. 

The Counsel representing the Delhi Police said that producing the AAP leader physically in the court created ‘chaos’ as AAP supporters and mediapersons would gather in the corridors of the court. He further said that this could result in compromising the security of Sisodia.

Special Judge Nagpal asked Sisodia whether he wanted to attend the proceedings through VC or in person. The former Delhi Minister replied that he wished to attend the court hearings physically. He was today produced in the court through video-conferencing from the lock-up.

The Judge, taking in view the security aspect as mentioned in the plea by Delhi Police, directed that till the time a decision was not taken on the application, Sisodia would be produced in court only through video-conferencing.

The court fixed July 19 as the next date of hearing in the case. The Delhi Police was directed to place the CCTV footage before the court on the next date of hearing.

The Counsel appearing for the Enforcement Directorate (ED) informed the court that a copy of the charge sheet has been given to each accused.

Sisodia was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for his alleged involvement in the now-scrapped Delhi Excise policy scam case on February 26. Subsequently, he was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on March 9.

It has been alleged that Sisodia and other members of AAP had connived to grant liquor licences to certain traders in exchange for bribes.

The two national agencies had alleged that the Delhi Excise policy 2021-22 was tweaked and the profit margins were changed in a manner that benefited certain traders and kickbacks were received in exchange for the same.

Cases were registered in relation to the alleged scam after Delhi Lieutenant Governor (LG) Vinai Kumar Saxena recommended a CBI probe based on a report by the Delhi Chief Secretary.

The report claimed that Sisodia violated statutory provisions and notified a policy that had significant financial implications. AAP has denied the allegations and maintained that Sisodia is innocent.

As per the AAP leader, the policy and the changes made in it were approved by the LG and that CBI was now going after the policy decisions of an elected government. He further said that till now, neither the CBI nor the ED has been able to trace any kickbacks to him.