Delhi court denies bail to Manish Sisodia in CBI, ED cases

A Delhi court today rejected the second regular bail pleas lodged by Former Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Manish Sisodia in the money laundering and corruption cases connected to the liquor policy case. Manish Sisodia is presently in judicial custody in both cases.

Delhi Rouse Avenue Court’s Special judge Kaveri Baweja rejected bail to the former Deputy Chief Minister, after reserving the verdict in his bail pleas on April 20.

AAP leader Manish Sisodia was denied bail by the trial court, Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court in both ED and CBI cases. The apex court had also dismissed Sisodia's review petitions against the denial of bail. Furthermore, his curative petitions have also been dismissed.

Pankaj Gupta, CBI prosecutor, opposed the bail plea and said that Manish Sisodia does not satisfy the rigours of grant of bail under the PMLA. He added that the former Deputy Chief Minister is a powerful person with a political clout. The prosecutor further submitted that the AAP leader, who is the main accused in the case, is also not entitled to parity.

He remarked that the allegations against the AAP leader show that a prima facie case is made out regarding the destruction of evidence by him and of misuse of power, which may hamper the investigation. The former Deputy Chief Minister was first arrested by CBI and ED on February 26 and March 9 last year respectively.

In the FIR lodged by the investigation agency, Manish Sisodia and others have been accused of being instrumental in recommending and taking decisions regarding the 2021-22 excise policy, without the approval of competent authority with an intention to extend undue favours to the licensee post tender.

Furthermore, the central agency has also asserted that the AAP leader was arrested because he gave evasive replies and denied cooperating with the investigation, despite being confronted with evidence.

Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate has alleged that the excise policy was implemented as part of a conspiracy to give wholesale business profit of 12 percent to certain private companies, although such a stipulation was not mentioned in the minutes of meetings of Group of Ministers (GoM).

The ED has also claimed that there was a conspiracy that was coordinated by Vijay Nair and other individuals along with South Group to provide extraordinary profit margins to wholesalers. The investigation agency said that Nair was acting on behalf of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia.

Former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia's bail applications in both cases were denied by Special Judge MK Nagpal (now transferred) on March 31 and April 28 last year. Later, the Delhi High Court denied bail to Sisodia in both cases after which he moved the Supreme Court challenging both these verdicts.

The Supreme Court on October 30, 2023 refused to grant bail to Manish Sisodia.