NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday rejected the bail application filed by top AAP leader and former deputy Chief Minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia in the liquor scam case, as the charges against him are serious in nature for having played a pivot role in changing the excise policy to help 'South Group' for undue advantage.
A bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma also said there is a possibility of witnesses being influenced, as the applicant held 18 portfolios, and most of the witnesses are public servants.
The court said the applicant is not entitled to bail, therefore his application is dismissed.
It noted the CBI's allegations that the excise policy was formed at the instance of the 'South Group' with malafide intention to get an undue advantage through them.
Sisodia was a public servant and was holding a very high position. The statement of the concerned excise officer has been relied upon by the CBI, the court is restraining itself in making any comments and minute examination of the material on record so that no prejudice is caused to the applicant, it added.
"The allegations are very serious in nature that excise policy was formed at the instance of the “South Group” with malafide intention to give undue advantage to them. Such an act points towards the misconduct of the applicant, who was admittedly a public servant and holding highest position," the bench said.
This court has no doubt in its mind that it is for the executive /elected government to decide the policies, the bench said.
"However, the court cannot interfere into the same, only if such policy decisions have been taken bonafidely and in the interest of the public. But if such policy decisions or schemes are alleged to have been taken malafidely or have the taint of any corrupt practice then certainly such decisions are required to be enquired into by concerned investigating agencies and examined by the court," the bench said.
The court also said at this stage, it has to see prima facie the case.
The case of the CBI is that the applicant was the pivot of the entire conspiracy and everything was being done under his instructions and supervision. The margin of profit from 5% to 12% was increased in order to recoup the kickbacks which had already been received through Vijay Nair, the court pointed out.
The court had reserved the order in the case on May 11.
Sisodia was arrested by the CBI on February 26, 2022.
The CBI had lodged the case on August 17, 2022 under Section 120B IPC and Section 7 of the PC Act, 1988. A total of 15 persons were specifically named in the FIR, including Sisodia, who was the deputy Chief Minister as well as Excise Minister of the Government of NCT of Delhi (GNCTD) for various irregularities in framing and implementation of the now scrapped excise policy for the year 2021-22.
He was subsequently also arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in a case of money laundering in connection with the scam.