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Judiciary

Manish Sisodia bail: Delhi HC cites "great betrayal of democratic principles" in liquor policy case [Read Judgment]

By Jhanak Singh      22 May, 2024 01:11 PM      0 Comments
Manish Sisodia Bail Court Cites Great Betrayal of Democratic Principles in Liquor Policy Case

NEW DELHI: In a big setback to AAP leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Delhi High Court on Tuesday rejected his bail plea in the liquor policy scam case, saying his conduct amounts to "great betrayal of democratic principles"

A bench of Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma castigated Sisodia for framing a policy to enrich private persons, saying "he used deceptive methods to show that the Delhi excise policy had public support but, in reality, the policy was framed to enrich a few individuals. This constitutes a form of corruption."

"The case exemplifies grave abuse of public authority by Sisodia. The prosecution establishes prima facie a case of money laundering (against Sisodia) under Section 3 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against him," the court said.

Sisodia sought to be released on bail in cases being investigated by the CBI and ED in 2022 Delhi liquor case.

Notably, this was the second bail plea moved by the AAP leader Sisodia, who has been in custody since February 26, 2023, after arrest by the CBI.

He was separately arrested by the ED on March 9, 2023.

In rejecting his bail, the High Court said that the case involved great misuse of power and breach of public trust by Sisodia.

Referring to his alleged act of damaging of his mobile phones, the HC observed that he indulged in acts of destruction of crucial evidence, including electronic evidence in this regard.

The High Court also considered the fact that Sisodia was holding an important position in the Delhi government and handled multiple portfolios, besides being an influential person.

The court had reserved its verdict on May 14, after hearing the arguments in the matter.

During the hearing, the ED had said that it would make AAP an accused in the next prosecution complaint (charge sheet) in the case.

Both the ED and CBI have opposed Sisodia's bail pleas also on the ground that there are concerted efforts by him to delay the process of framing charges in the case.

"He should not be granted bail at this stage," the ED said.

Sisodia said since both the probe agencies were still arresting people in the case, there was no question of early conclusion of the trial.

Sisodia's judicial custody was extended till May 30 in the case.

The CBI had registered the case against Sisodia in the now-scrapped policy case, naming him as one of the accused in the case.

Sisodia challenged the Rouse Avenue Court's April 30 order of dismissal of his bail.

Sisodia is presently in judicial custody in both the cases registered by the CBI and the ED in the Delhi Excise Policy case.

The Supreme Court had on December 14, 2023 rejected his plea seeking review of its earlier decision of October 30, 2023, declining him bail in the case. The top court had subsequently March 13, 2024 dismissed his curative petition as well. 

 

[Read Judgment]



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