Delhi Excise Policy scam case: Supreme Court issues notice on bail plea of AAP leader Manish Sisodia
The Supreme Court issued notice on Friday on two bail petitions filed by former Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Manish Sisodia in the cases registered against him by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate over his alleged involvement in the Delhi Excise Policy scam case.
The Bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna, Justice Bela M. Trivedi and Justice Ujjal Bhuyan further issued notice on Sisodia’s application seeking interim bail to meet his ailing wife and listed the matter for hearing on July 28.
As soon as the matter was taken up for hearing, Justice Khanna said that the cases registered against Sisodia alleged that the policy decision was taken for ‘extraneous consideration’.
Appearing for the AAP leader, Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi argued that there was absolutely no material to support the allegations.
Singhvi further sought interim bail for Sisosia, stating that it would allow him to meet his wife, who was suffering from illness.
Stating that it was aware of the condition Sisodia’s wife was suffering from, the Apex Court called it a ‘progressive disease’.
Initially, the top court of the country listed the matter for hearing on August 21. However, as Singhvi pressed for an earlier date, the Bench listed it for hearing on July 28.
Earlier on July 3, the High Court of Delhi had denied bail to Sisodia and three others for their alleged involvement in the implementation of now-scrapped Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22.
The Single-Judge Bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma further denied bail to AAP Communications In-charge Vijay Nair, Hyderabad-based businessman Abhishek Boinpally and General Manager of Pernod Ricard India Benoy Babu.
Noting that the order of the special judge denying bail to Sisodia was well-reasoned and passed on the basis of material on record, the Single-Judge Bench observed that it did not find any infirmity or illegality with the special judge order.
The High Court further took note of the fact that Sisodia was denied bail on May 30 in the CBI case also.
The Central Bureau of Investigation had arrested the former Delhi Cabinet Minister on February 26 after an interrogation of more than eight hours. He was named as an accused in the FIR. Subsequently, he was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on March 9 after questioning inside the Tihar jail. He has since remained behind the bars.
Both the CBI and the ED have filed cases against him under the Prevention of Corruption (PC) and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), respectively.
CBI had filed the case against Sisodia after Delhi Lieutenant Governor (LG) V.K. 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 (Delhi Excise policy 2021-22) that had significant financial implications.
Although the national agency did not name Sisodia in the first charge sheet, the national agency filed an additional charge sheet later arraying the AAP leader as an accused in the case.
The Counsel appearing for Sisodia had argued that 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 contended that no money has been traced to Sisodia and that the agencies were re-evaluating a liquor policy, which was formulated by an elected government and approved by the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi.