Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court has extended Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and former Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia’s judicial custody in the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) case concerning the Delhi Liquor Scam till June 1. Furthermore, the court directed the jail authorities to consider Manish Sisodia’s request for a table and chair to study.
Earlier, in the CBI case, the Delhi Court extended Manish Sisodia’s judicial custody till June 2 in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) case concerning the Delhi Liquor Scam on May 12. On April 25, the CBI filed a chargesheet against Manish Sisodia and three others in the Delhi Liquor Scam case. The court reserved an order on CBI’s supplementary chargesheet and listed it for pronouncement of order on May 27.
Furthermore, the CBI opposed Manish Sisodia’s bail plea before the Delhi High Court on April 26. The investigation agency said that the AAP leader “misused” his official position and dishonestly introduced changes to the Excise Policy under the influence of the South Group through his close associate Vijay Nair.
The CBI added that the changes introduced by the applicant in the Excise Policy facilitated the cartelisation of the liquor trade in Delhi by the South Group and enabled the South Group to recover the kickbacks they paid upfront.
Atishi Marlena Misleads People
Earlier, the AAP Minister Atishi Marlena cited the Rouse Avenue Court’s order granting bail to other accused, citing that the central agencies probing the scam have no evidence of corruption. She said, “There were two major allegations. First: Rs 100 crore bribe was received. Second: The amount was spent for Goa elections.” She added, “But the Rouse Avenue court order, through which two people got bail. The order should be read properly, as it makes it clear that ED and CBI have no evidence of the corruption of even 1 Rupee. The judge repeatedly said in the 86-page order that there is no evidence.”
It is pertinent to note that earlier the Court refused bail to Manish Sisodia in the money laundering case, stating that he is not just the architect of the criminal conspiracy but the brain behind the insertion of favourable clauses in the policy. Furthermore, the Court also found evidence of a kickback amount from the liquor policy was spent on AAP’s Goa campaign.
Manish Sisodia: The ‘Brain Behind The Conspiracy’
On April 28, the Court refused bail to Manish Sisodia in the ED case in the money laundering case concerning Delhi Liquor Scam. The Court said, “was not only an architect of above criminal conspiracy, but also the brain behind insertion of clauses of 12% profit margin for wholesalers and of enhancement of eligibility criteria for wholesalers from Rs. 100 crores to Rs. 500 crores.”
“Hence, this court is not inclined to grant bail to the applicant in this case of economic offences having serious repercussions upon the general public and society at large as the evidence collected during investigation speaks volumes of his involvement in commission of the said offence,” the Court said. The Court observed that Manish Sisodia was connected in generation of “proceeds of crime” of around Rs 100 crores as advance kickbacks for insertion of favourable clauses for the benefit of the ‘conspirators.’
The Court observed, “Further, even the huge profits of around Rs. 192 crores earned by M/S Indospirits as a result of the said cartel and the influence exercised by the applicant in ensuring the grant of L 1 license and dealership of M/S Pernod Ricard to M/S Indospirits can be related to or connected with the acts performed by this applicant, directly or indirectly.”
The Court said, “seriousness or gravity of the offence and its nature or category, the capacity of applicant in which it has been committed, the manner of its commission and also certain other factors like impact of the offence as well as the possible impact of release of applicant on society etc. are the factors which go against the applicant and force this court to decide against his release on bail in the present case.”
The Court also observed, “Further, some evidence is also alleged to have surfaced during investigation to show that some part of the above kickback or bribe amount received from South lobby was spent or utilized in connection with election campaign of the AAP in Goa and some cash payments through hawala channels are alleged to have been sent to Goa for bearing the said expenses and even some fake invoices are alleged to have been created as a cover up for the cash amounts transferred through hawala channels.”
“It is stated that the above cash transfers were made as per instructions of the coaccused Vijay Nair, who was the representative of applicant and the AAP and also the Media Incharge of AAP and looking after the work related to said elections and he also roped in a company named M/S Chariot Productions Media Pvt. Ltd. owned by the coaccused Rajesh Joshi to do the election related advertising work and other jobs for the party during said elections.”