NEW DELHI: A Delhi court on Friday sent former deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodiya to custodial interrogation of the Enforcement Directorate till March 17 in a money laundering case in connection with the Delhi Excise policy.
Special CBI Judge M K Nagpal sent Sisodiya to custody remand on an application filed by the Enforcement Directorate.
The Enforcement Directorate led by advocate Zoheb Hossain, submitted that the agency required to interrogate the accused to unearth the entire scam. For the purpose, it sought 10 days custody of Sisodiya.
"We want to unearth the entire modus operandi. We need to confront him with some other people. Therefore, we need custody of 10 days," the counsel submitted.
He claimed all the changes were made to enable the South Group earn undue gains and help certain private entities get huge benefits.
"Calling up of public response to the policy was a mere eyewash and nothing else. There was no suggestion by public or stakeholders to fix the profit margin at 12%. This has been confirmed by Excise department," he said.
Conspiracy was coordinated by Vijay Nair and others along with South Group, the counsel claimed, adding the scam started with drafting of Delhi excise policy, was done by Sisodiya and others. He said there was a need to unravel the scam and sought custodial interrogation of Sisodia, Hossain said.
He also alleged certain statement showed that BRS leader K Kavitha met Vijay Nair. He (Nair) wanted to show how he can influence the policy. He was acting on behalf of the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister, Hossain said.
"Within a span of one year, 14 phones have been destroyed and changed. Sisodia has used phones purchased by others and SIM cards that are not in his name so that he can use it as a defence later. Even the phone used by him is not in his name," Hossain argued.
Opposing ED's arguments, senior advocate Dayan Krishnan, appearing for Sisodia, argued that let us not forget the distinction between predicate offence and money laundering. It is their (ED) duty to show the tracing of money to him (Sisodiya).
"Even not a single money traced to me, so they say Vijay Nair was acting on my behalf. Why have they not been able to trace even a single Rupee to me? I am completely innocent in the case," the counsel said.
In money laundering, you are supposed to look at concealment, possession and use. It has to be traced to the individual. Not a single penny has been traced to me. It is laughable to say the least, Krishan argued.
It is the Executive's job to make policy, which goes through several layers. In this case also, Delhi excise policy was accepted by LG and others, they must have examined it, the counsel said.
The counsel claimed the PMLA is 'draconian', and the probe agency arrested Sisodiya, only to keep him in jail, nothing else.
The court, which was to take up bail plea of Sisodiya in CBI case, put it for consideration on March 21.