Court rejects bail plea of AAP MP Sanjay Singh in excise policy case
Singh, who was arrested on October 4 this year, is accused of receiving Rs 2 crore, the alleged proceeds of thealleged corruption in formulating and executing the city gov's excise policy for 2021-22
A Delhi court on Friday dismissed the bail application of senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh in a money laundering case related to the Delhi excise policy 'scam', observing that he was connected with the "proceeds of crime to the extent of Rs 2 crore” and the case against him was "genuine".
The Rajya Sabha lawmaker, who was arrested on October 4 this year, is accused of receiving Rs 2 crore, the alleged proceeds of the predicate or scheduled offence involving alleged corruption in formulating and executing the city government's excise policy for 2021-22, which was later scrapped.
The CBI had registered the FIR over alleged corruption after a complaint was lodged by Lt Governor V K Saxena.
“Now, coming to merits of the case or the evidence and material collected during investigation against the applicant and produced before the court, it is observed that he is shown to have been connected with proceeds of crime to the extent of Rs 2 crores, which are being alleged to have been generated through the criminal activities of above scheduled offences case of CBI.
“It has been shown that the above amount of Rs. 2 crores was paid or delivered to him, through his associate Sarvesh Mishra who had earlier worked as Personal Assistant to him and he apparently had accepted or taken the said amounts for and on behalf of the applicant,” special judge M K Nagpal said in the order.
The judge said the Enforcement Directorate’s "basic case" was "approved" by the Supreme Court, which had also "endorsed" that bribes or kickbacks were paid for the formulation of the Delhi government’s excise policy of 2021-22.
The court rejected the submissions of Singh that he cannot be made an accused in the money laundering case as he was not named in the main FIR by the CBI (related to alleged corruption).
Referring to some apex court judgments, the judge said not naming Singh in the FIR, nor summoning him to join the investigation was of “no relevancy” if the investigating agency showed sufficient evidence to support his involvement and further detention.
"Considering the oral and documentary evidence in entirety…and also in light of the settled legal position, this court is of prima facie view that the case against the applicant (Singh) is genuine and the said evidence and material shows the involvement of the applicant in the commission of the alleged offence of money laundering," the court said.
It said it had been shown that Singh was directly or indirectly involved in activities or processes connected with the proceeds of crime.
“The evidence and material are also sufficient to furnish this court reasonable grounds for believing that he is guilty of the said offence in terms of provisions under Section 45 (cognizable and non-bailable offences) of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA),” the court said, adding the conditions for grant of bail were not satisfied.
The court said the bail applications of other accused, including Sameer Mahandru, Amit Arora, Vijay Nair, Arun Ramachandran Pillai, Amandeep Dhall and Abhishek Boinpally were already dismissed and its interpretation of the PMLA provisions while dismissing the applications were not set aside by any superior court.
It said the ED showed accused-turned-approver Dinesh Arora paid Singh Rs 2 crore.
The court said Arora’s statement “prima facie” showed that the amount was paid to Singh as a “bribe or kickbacks in lieu of favours extended to the stakeholders in the liquor business” and it was also the “kickback amount paid or agreed to be paid in connection with formulation or implementation of 2021-22 excise policy.”
Arora’s disclosures were also corroborated by a protected witness with the pseudonym 'Alpha', the court said.
According to 'Alpha', he was sent by Arora to deliver the cash amounts of Rs 1 crore on two occasions and the protected witness delivered the said amounts to Singh’s associate Mishra at his office, the court noted.
“The evidence and material collected during investigation not only shows the relation or connection of applicant with the proceeds of crime generated through the criminal activities of offences pertaining to excise policy of the GNCTD for the year 2021-22, but such evidence also reflects or shows an attempt on his part made knowingly to be a party to the process or activities connected with proceeds of crime generated or sought to be generated in respect to the previous excise policy of the year 2020-21,” the court said.
The anti-money laundering agency had arrested Singh on October 4. The ED has alleged that Singh played a key role in the formulation and implementation of the now-scrapped 2021-2022 excise policy, which benefited certain liquor manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers, for monetary consideration.