Thu. Sep 21st, 2023

New Delhi- A Delhi court on Friday denied bail to AAP leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia in connection with the Delhi excise policy case being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), holding that that the evidence, prima facie, “speaks volumes” of his involvement in commission of the offence.

Special Judge M. K. Nagpal denied the relief, noting the “serious nature of allegations made and role played by Sisodia in the criminal conspiracy, his connection with the activities relating to generation or acquisition and use etc of the proceeds of crime and the oral and documentary evidence collected in support of the same”.

“Hence, this court is not inclined to grant bail to the applicant in this case of economic offences having serious repercussions upon the general public and society at large as the evidence collected during investigation speaks volumes of his involvement in commission of the said offence.”

The judge also said that the purported medical condition of Sisodia’s wife was not a reason to grant him bail in this case. Additionally, he stated that it was impossible to rule out the potential of Sisodia influencing key witnesses in the case.

The judge noted that the alleged offence against Sisodia was a “serious economic offence of money laundering” and that he has not been accused of committing the offence in his personal capacity, but rather in his official capacity as a public servant overseeing the Excise Ministry and serving as Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister.

“The seriousness or gravity of the offence and its nature or category, the capacity of applicant in which it was committed, the manner of its commission and also certain other factors like impact of the offence as well as the possible impact of release of applicant on society etc. are the factors which go against the applicant and force this court to decide against his release on bail in the present case, ” the judge said.

Judge Nagpal pronounced the order on Friday after having reserved it on April 18.

The court had, a day before, extended Sisodia’s judicial custody by two weeks in the case. On Thursday, the same court extended Sisodia’s judicial custody till May 12, in the case being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The ED had earlier submitted before the judge that Sisodia had planted fabricated emails to show that there was public approval for the policy.The directions to send these pre-drafted emails were given to Zakir Khan, Chairman of Delhi Minorities’ Commission, who then asked his interns to send the emails, the ED claimed.

The probe agency had also said that the 60 days given to complete the investigation against Sisodia are not over yet. It said that it has found fresh evidence indicating Sisodia’s involvement in the alleged scam, and the investigation is at a crucial stage.

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