On July 3, the Delhi High Court refused bail to AAP leader and former Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia, in the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) case concerning money laundering related to the Delhi Liquor Scam.
The court noted that the special judge’s order refusing bail to the accused Manish Sisodia was well-reasoned and passed based on the material on record. The court said, “The court does not find any infirmity or illegality in the order of the special judge.”
The court further noted that it earlier denied bail to Manish Sisodia in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) case concerning the Delhi Liquor Scam. Last month, the court also rejected Manish Sisodia’s bail application on grounds of the poor health condition of his wife. The court noted that the allegations against Manish Sisodia were extremely serious in nature and that it cannot forget the positions held by him.
‘Evidence Speaks Volumes of His Involvement’: Special Court
On April 28, Special Judge (PC Act) MK Nagpal of the Rouse Avenue District Court refused bail to Manish Sisodia in the ED case concerning the Delhi Liquor Scam, stating that the accused “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.”
The special court said that Manish Sisodia was connected to the generation of “proceeds of crime” of around Rs 100 crores as advance kickbacks for the insertion of favourable clauses for the benefit of the ‘conspirators.’
The special court said, “Thus, in view of the above background, serious nature of allegations made and role played by the applicant in above criminal conspiracy, his connection with the activities relating to generation or acquisition and use etc. of the above proceeds of crime within the meaning of Section 3 of the PMLA and the oral and documentary evidence collected in support of the same and as placed for perusal of the court, this court is of the considered opinion that even if the rigors and restrictions contained U/S 45 of the PMLA are viewed and construed reasonably, the prosecution has still been able to show a genuine and prima facie case for involvement of the applicant in commission of the alleged offence of money laundering.”
The special court noted that the evidence placed on record “speaks volumes” of his involvement in the commission of the offence. “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 special court said.
Delhi High Court Refuses Bail to Manish Sisodia in CBI Case
On May 30, the Delhi High Court refused bail to accused Manish Sisodia in the CBI case concerning the Delhi Liquor Scam.
“The allegations are very serious in nature that the excise policy was formed at the instance of South Group with mala fide intention to give undue advantage to them. Such a conduct points towards the misconduct of the applicant who was admittedly a public servant and was holding a very high position,” Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma said.
Furthermore, the court noted that most witnesses against Manish Sisodia are public servants and as he is an influential person and the former Dy CM of Delhi having 18 portfolios, the possibility of witness tampering cannot be ruled out. CBI had submitted to the 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,” the probe agency added.
Manish Sisodia is lodged in jail in cases registered by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection to the irregularities and alleged corruption in the implementation of Delhi’s excise policy. Manish Sisodia contended that no evidence of a money trail has been found from him and the allegations against him are “in the realm of likelihood,” while seeking regular bail in the case.
However, the CBI opposed Manish Sisodia’s bail arguing that the case involves a “deep-rooted and multi-layered conspiracy.” The agency further submitted that the AAP leader has remained non-cooperative and evasive during the investigation. The agency also submitted that he is the key link to unearth the modus operandi.
The probe agency claimed that the former Dy CM enjoys a close nexus with the executive and the bureaucrats. Furthermore, the CBI said that his party colleagues holding high ranks continue to make “factually wrong claims” stating that Manish Sisodia is a victim of political vendetta and are trying to influence the investigation.