Excise policy: SC judge recuses from hearing Manish Sisodia's plea for revival of bail petitions

Sisodia had earlier moved the SC challenging Delhi High Court's 21 May verdict, which dismissed his bail pleas

Manish Sisodia in custody (file photo)
Manish Sisodia in custody (file photo)


Supreme Court judge Justice Sanjay Kumar on Thursday recused himself from hearing the pleas of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and former Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia seeking to revive his bail petition in the alleged Delhi excise policy scam cases.

A bench of justices Sanjiv Khanna, Sanjay Karol and Sanjay Kumar said another bench of which justice Kumar is not a member will take up Sisodia’s two pleas to revive his bail petitions in cases filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the excise policy scam case.

As soon as the matter was taken up for hearing, justice Khanna said, "Our brother has some difficulty. He will not like to hear this matter for personal reasons."

Senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, appearing for Sisodia, requested the bench to list the matter urgently, saying time is of the essence. He said the trial has not yet commenced in either of the cases. The bench said another bench will take it up on 15 July.

On 4 June, the top court had refused to entertain Sisodia's bail pleas in cases lodged by the CBI and the ED in connection with the alleged scam. Sisodia had earlier moved the apex court challenging the Delhi High Court's 21 May verdict, which dismissed his bail pleas in the cases probed by the two Central agencies.

The AAP leader had moved the high court against a trial court's 30 April order by which it had rejected his bail applications in the cases involving alleged irregularities in the formulation and execution of the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy for 2021-22.

On 30 October 2023, the top court had denied Sisodia bail in the corruption and money laundering cases related to the alleged scam, saying the accusation of "windfall gains" of Rs 338 crore for wholesale liquor dealers was "tentatively supported" by evidence.

Sisodia was arrested by the CBI on 26 February 2023 for his alleged role in the liquor policy case. The ED arrested him in the money laundering case stemming from the CBI FIR on 9 March 2023. He resigned from the Delhi cabinet on 28 February 2023.

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