Court talks tough on Manish Sisodia; Bail Denied

Former education minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia, has suffered a significant setback as his bail plea in the liquor policy case has been dismissed by a special CBI court. The court, headed by M K Nagpal in Delhi’s Rouse Avenue, rejected Sisodia’s request for bail in the money laundering case, which is linked to alleged irregularities in the implementation of the now-defunct excise policy in Delhi.

Sisodia, had his bail plea dismissed by the court, despite arguments from his lawyers that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) did not find any incriminating evidence against him during their searches.

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Sisodia’s legal team asserted that he had cooperated with the investigation and that none of the CBI’s searches yielded any evidence requiring his continued custody.

He has been denied bail in a corruption case after Special CBI Judge MK Nagpal denied bail on the grounds that the prosecution’s allegations and evidence show that Sisodia was the architect of a criminal conspiracy.

The court found that Sisodia, along with other members of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), manipulated the implementation of the Delhi Excise Policy to facilitate monopolization and cartelization of the liquor trade in Delhi. It is alleged that this was done against advance kickbacks of around ₹90-₹100 crore paid by persons carrying out liquor business from South India. The biased policy was prepared at Sisodia’s instance, ignoring recommendations of the expert committee constituted, public opinion, and adverse opinions expressed by certain legal luminaries.

The court noted serious apprehensions of Sisodia destroying, tampering with evidence or influencing some prime witnesses in the case if he was released on bail. Rejecting bail on the ground of parity with other accused, the court said that Sisodia’s role could not be equated with or put at par with the roles of the other three accused who had already been granted regular bail.

Sisodia was arrested by the CBI on February 26 after an interrogation that lasted nearly eight hours. He remained in CBI custody until March 6 and was subsequently arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the money laundering case related to the same scam. On March 17, the court extended his custody for five more days.

Senior Advocates Dayan Krishnan, Mohit Mathur and Siddharth Aggarwal, along with Advocates Vivek Jain, Rishikesh Kumar, Mohd. Irshad, Karan Sharma, Abhinav Jain, Rohit Kaliyar, Mohit Siwach, Harsh Gautam, Rishabh Sharma, Sanjeevi Seshadri, Sreedhar Kale, Kumud Ranjan Mishra and Mohit Bhardwaj appeared for Sisodia. Special Public Prosecutor DP Singh, DLA Raj Mohan Chand, and Senior Public Prosecutor Pankaj Gupta represented the respondents.


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