Delhi, India: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has informed the Delhi High Court that the Aam Aadmi Party leader and former Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia is the “kingpin and architect of the conspiracy” in the Delhi Liquor Scam. The CBI has also submitted to the Delhi High Court that his colleagues in AAP have made efforts to shield him in various press conferences.
CBI has informed the Delhi High Court that the case involves a “deep-rooted and multi-layered conspiracy” while opposing the AAP leader’s bail plea. Furthermore, the CBI has said that Manish Sisodia has remained non-cooperative and evasive during the investigation and that he is key to unearthing the modus operandi.
CBI has also submitted that further investigation revealed the involvement of Amandeep Singh Dhall, the Director of M/s Brindco Sales Private Limited, who conspired with Vijay Nair and other accused for generating cash towards payment of 6 percent commission from the enhances 12 percent profit margin to the South liquor lobby as per the impugned policy.
“The concerned cabinet ministers as well as the Chief Minister, during the course of investigation, confirmed that the policy was formulated by the Petitioner and governed solely by the excise personnel, which Ministry was headed by Sisodia,” CBI submitted.
AAP Leaders Shield Manish Sisodia
CBI submitted that Manish Sisodia has a close nexus and relations with the executive and bureaucrats. Furthermore, the AAP leader’s colleagues “continue to make factually wrong claims,” claiming that he is a victim of political vendetta to influence the investigation.
“A perusal of the said statements by these leader(s) during the press conferences would reveal how the entire efforts of not only the Applicant but his party colleagues as a whole are to shield the accused herein. The statements also undermine the authority of the Ld. Special Judge (CBI), having already taken cognizance of the offences, and are being made to adversely impact the investigation by levelling unwarranted and unsubstantiated allegations against the CBI, thereby influencing and deterring the witnesses of the case,” CBI submitted.
Likelihood of Evidence Tampering
CBI submitted to the Delhi High Court, “That the Applicant is the kingpin and architect of the conspiracy herein. His influence and clout disentitle him to any parity with the co-accused. The Applicant has been confronted with sensitive documents and witnesses and is as such fully aware of the line of investigation. There is every likelihood that in case the Applicant is released on bail, he shall tamper with the evidence and influence witnesses, more specifically in light of his past conduct to derail the investigation.”
On March 31, the Delhi Court expressed apprehensions about Manish Sisodia’s destruction or tampering with evidence against him or influencing witnesses if he is released on bail. The Court said that Manish Sisodia, “there may be serious apprehensions of destruction or tampering of some further evidence and even of influencing of some prime witnesses of this case by him or at his instance, in case he is released on bail by the court.”
The Delhi Court said, “This court is not inclined to release the applicant on bail at this stage of investigation of the case as his release may adversely affect the ongoing investigation and will also seriously hamper the progress thereof.”
Architect of the Criminal Conspiracy
On March 31, a Delhi Court denied bail to Manish Sisodia in the Delhi Liquor Scam case. The Court said Manish Sisodia can “prima facie be held to be the architect of the said criminal conspiracy.”
The Special Judge MK Nagpal observed that “The payment of advance kickbacks of around Rs. 90-100 crores was meant for him and his other colleagues in the GNCTD and Rs. 20-30 crores out of the above are found to have been routed through the co-accused.” Furthermore, the Court added, “in turn, certain provisions of the excise policy were permitted to be tweaked and manipulated by the applicant to protect and preserve the interests of South liquor lobby and to ensure repayment of the kickbacks to the said lobby.”
The Court noted, “formulation of a favourable policy for them was being ensured at every cost and a cartel was permitted to be formed to achieve monopoly in sale of certain liquor brands of favoured manufacturers and it was permitted to be done against very objectives of the policy,” and therefore, the Court observed that Manish Sisodia can prima facie be held to be architect of the said criminal conspiracy.