Thursday, April 18, 2024

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Health Minister Satyendar Jain resign from AAP membership

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Health Minister Satyendar Jain, who are both behind bars in corruption cases, on Tuesday resigned from the primary membership of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal accepted their resignations, which followed questions by BJP on why the jailed Ministers were still part of the Delhi Cabinet.

Sisodia has been in charge of 18 ministries, including the Health portfolio of Jain, who has been in jail for 10 months.

The former Education Minister of Delhi was arrested on Sunday in the liquor scam case.

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court had refused to entertain a petition filed by Sisodia, challenging his arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) over his alleged involvement in irregularities related to the now-scrapped Delhi Excise Policy.

The Bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice P.S. Narasimha told Sisodia that he had alternative remedies available before the High Court, which he should have pursued, instead of directly invoking the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution.

The CJI told Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who appeared for Sisodia, that if it decided to take up this petition, the Apex Court would be asked to interfere in every such case. He added that the top court of the country could not intervene in this.

Justice Narasimha said that the case should not come to the Supreme Court, just because the incident took place in Delhi.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had arrested Sisodia in connection with the liquor policy scam on Sunday, after questioning him for eight hours in connection with irregularities in the now-scrapped Delhi Excise Policy.

CBI said it had arrested Sisodia on the basis of some documents and digital evidence, along with destruction of evidence.

He was produced before Special CBI Judge M.K. Nagpal of the Rouse Avenue Court on Monday, which sent him to five days CBI remand in connection with the liquor scam case. 

In 2017, CBI had registered a case against Jain under Sections 13(2) (criminal misconduct by public servant) read with 13(e) (disproportionate assets) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 on the grounds that Jain had acquired movable properties in the name of various persons between 2015 and 2017, which he could not satisfactorily account for.

On the basis of this case, the Enforcement Directorate had registered an ECIR (equivalent of FIR) against Jain on September 30, 2017 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader was arrested on May 30, 2022 under the provisions of PMLA. He was first sent to police custody and thereafter, to judicial custody.


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