Delhi excise policy: SC refuses urgent hearing on ED’s plea against interim bail to Sameer Mahendru

 The Supreme Court Wednesday refused an urgent hearing on an Enforcement Directorate plea challenging the Delhi High Court’s order granting interim bail on medical grounds to liquor businessman Sameer Mahendru in a money laundering case related to alleged irregularities in the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy.

The matter was mentioned before a vacation bench of Justice Surya Kant and Justice M M Sundresh with Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the ED, seeking an urgent hearing.

“Somebody has been granted bail… People are languishing in jails,” the bench said.

The high court on June 12 had observed the accused was suffering from life-threatening diseases warranting immediate medical attention and post-operative care. “Every person has a right to get adequately and effectively treated,” it had said.

The court had imposed several conditions on Mahendru, including that he shall not leave the limits of the hospital and his house and shall also not leave the country.

The ED has registered an enforcement case information report (ECIR) against Mahendru under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The money laundering case stems from an FIR registered by CBI in the alleged scam in the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy.

The CBI and the ED alleged that irregularities were committed while modifying the excise policy and undue favours were extended to licence holders.

The Delhi government implemented the policy on November 17, 2021, but scrapped it at the end of September 2022 amid allegations of corruption. Former Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia is also an accused in the case.

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