Delhi court denies bail to Sisodia in ED’s excise policy case: ‘Evidence speaks volumes’
Observing that the evidence collected against former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia during investigation “speaks volumes of his involvement in commission of the said offence”, a Delhi court Friday denied him bail in connection with a money laundering case lodged against him by the Enforcement Directorate in the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy.
Special Judge M K Nagpal noted that the prosecution has been able to show a “genuine” and “prima facie” case for involvement of the applicant in commission of alleged offence of money laundering. “…This court is not inclined to grant bail to the applicant in case of economic offences having serious repercussions upon general public and society at large as the evidence collected during investigation speaks volumes of his involvement in commission of the said offence,” the court ruled.
The court had reserved its order in the matter on April 18 after hearing both Sisodia, represented by senior advocate Dayan Krishnan, and the ED, represented by advocate Zoheb Hossain.
Sisodia is currently in judicial custody in connection with the CBI and ED case pertaining to the excise policy.
During the course of proceedings in the ED case, the agency had argued that there was a “conspiracy” which was coordinated by AAP leader Vijay Nair along with other individuals from the “South Group” to provide undue profit to private wholesalers. The prosecution had claimed that excise policy was modified to ensure a 12% business profit for private wholesalers and had claimed such a stipulation was not mentioned in the minutes of meetings of the Group of Ministers (GoM).
The agency had also submitted that Sisodia used SIM cards and mobile phones bought in the name of other leaders and he had destroyed 14 mobile phones, out of which two were recovered by the ED. Sisodia had denied the allegations regarding destruction of evidence. It was also alleged that a part of kickback received from the “South Lobby” was spent or utilised in connection with election campaign of the AAP in Goa.
Appearing for Sisodia, Krishnan had argued that there was no material evidence present with prosecution to show that Sisodia acquired or concealed proceeds of crime. Sisodia had moved the bail application in the ED’s case on March 21.