New Delhi: Additional Solicitor General SV Raju appearing on behalf of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) today informed the Supreme Court that the ED is contemplating making the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) an accused and invoking Section 70 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act to probe it additionally with respect to vicarious liability in the Delhi Liquor Policy scam case.
Even as the ASG made the said statement, Sr. Adv. Abhishek Manu Singhvi opposed the same saying that the Court would see the effects of this statement in “papers” soon.
He protested, pointing out that the prosecutor was telling the Court it intends to make "someone else an accused" “after one year of incarceration (of Manish Sisodia), when the bail is being argued, with 5 supplementary chargesheets, 500 witnesses, and 50,000 documents."
However, the Court refused to accept this line of argument stating that this decision of the Enforcement Directorate would not affect the Court's verdict simply because the Court, in the present matter, was dealing with the chargesheet at hand only.
It has, however, asked ED to respond to whether it intends to make the Aam Aadmi Party an accused in the same offence, or a new one.
The Supreme Court was hearing AAP leader and former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s bail applications in the CBI and ED cases in connection with the alleged Delhi excise policy scam.
The Supreme Court on October 5 had sought to know from the Enforcement Directorate to spell out as to why the political party, alleged to be the beneficiary in the Delhi liquor policy scam, has not been made an accused so far in the case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and S V N Bhatti put this query to the ED, while hearing bail pleas of AAP leader and former Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia.
The AAP leader and sitting MLA is facing charges of money laundering and corruption for alleged irregularities in the framing and implementation of a now-scrapped Delhi excise policy. He was arrested on February 26, 2023.
On July 3, the Delhi High Court had dismissed bail plea by Sisodia, AAP leader, saying that charges against him are very serious in nature.
This is the second occasion when the high court had rejected Sisodia's bail plea in the CBI case in relation to the same scam.
Sisodia had moved the Supreme Court against the denial of bail to him in two separate cases lodged by the two probe agencies -- Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) -- in the Delhi liquor scam case.Sisodia was arrested on February 26, 2023.
His plea claimed the charge sheet by the CBI and complaints by the ED in the matter have already been filed after investigation and hence there was no necessity or requirement for Sisodia to remain in jail.