Excise policy scam: CBI opposes Manish Sisodia's bail plea, says he was in position of power

Sisodia has filed regular and interim bail pleas on various grounds including his wife's poor health condition

Manish Sisodia (Photo: IANS)
Manish Sisodia (Photo: IANS)
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PTI

The CBI Wednesday opposed before the Delhi High Court a bail plea filed by former deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, arrested in Delhi excise policy case, saying he was in a position of power and had a political clout.  The CBI said the senior AAP leader controlled various departments including the excise and claimed he wilfully destroyed evidence and mobile phone on the day the present matter was referred by the Lieutenant Governor to the CBI.

Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma heard arguments of CBI's counsel and listed the matter for further hearing on Thursday.

Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, representing the CBI, also referred to a missing file relating to the policy documents saying that the note went missing probably because it contained some noting which was not palatable.

"Our case is that the note was destroyed or it was made to disappear. We have evidence to show that he was the last person who was handed over this file which contained the cabinet note. He is capable of tampering with the evidence," he said.

He further said Sisodia was in a position of power and had political clout.

Sisodia has filed regular and interim bail pleas on various grounds including his wife's poor health condition.

His counsel had submitted that the medical condition of the senior AAP leader's wife needs urgent attention, and urged the court to release him on interim bail.

The CBI had arrested Sisodia for alleged corruption in the formulation and implementation of the now-scrapped Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22 on February 26, following several rounds of questioning.

On March 31, the trial court here had dismissed Sisodia's bail plea in the matter, saying he was "prima facie the architect" of the "scam" and had played the "most important and vital role" in the criminal conspiracy related to alleged payment of advance kickbacks of Rs 90-100 crore meant for him and his colleagues in the Delhi government.

The high court had earlier issued a notice and asked the CBI to file its reply to Sisodia's regular bail plea. He has challenged the trial court's order denying him bail in the case.

Sisodia's counsel had earlier said the lower court has not considered the medical condition of the AAP leader's wife, who is suffering from multiple sclerosis. He said the condition of Sisodia's wife was deteriorating.

He had said all the offences alleged against Sisodia are punishable with imprisonment up to seven years, something which should weigh in favour of the AAP leader.

The lawyer had said the allegation that he was a recipient of the proceeds of crime was "all in air" and no money trail leading to him has been found.

Sisodia has sought parity for him with the other accused who have got the relief, and claimed that he was not in a position to influence the witnesses in the case or tamper with evidence.

The CBI has opposed his bail plea, saying that the excise policy was manipulated to favour cartelisation and monopolisation in liquor trade in the national capital, and Sisodia and businessman Vijay Nair were the main conspirators.

It has said the accused wanted to make money but at the same time, they wanted to show that they were transparent which they were not.

It has said the bail plea was devoid of any merit and was an attempt to misuse the intricacies of law to thwart the progress of investigation in the case.

While the CBI contended that Sisodia is the “kingpin and architect of the conspiracy” and his influence and clout disentitle him to any parity with the co-accused enlarged on bail, the AAP leader urged the high court to grant him bail claiming no money trail linking him to the proceeds of alleged crime has been found.

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