Excise policy case: SC to hear on Friday AAP leader Manish Sisodia’s bail pleas

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on Friday the bail pleas of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Manish Sisodia in the Delhi excise policy case being probed by the CBI and the money-laundering matter arising out of it.

According to the cause list uploaded on the apex court website, a bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Bela M Trivedi is slated to hear his petitions challenging the separate orders of the Delhi High Court which refused to grant him bail in these cases.

On July 10, a bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud had agreed to hear the pleas of the former Delhi deputy chief minister on July 14.

Senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, representing Sisodia, had urged the top court to take them up for hearing as the senior AAP leader’s wife was seriously ill and hospitalised.

Sisodia, who held the excise portfolio among many that he handled as the deputy chief minister, was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on February 26 for his alleged role in the “scam”. He has been in custody since then. The ED arrested him in a money laundering case stemming from the CBI FIR on March 9 after questioning him in Tihar jail.

Sisodia resigned from the Delhi cabinet on February 28.

The high court had denied him bail in the CBI case on May 30, saying having been the deputy chief minister and excise minister, he is a “high-profile” person who has the potential to influence the witnesses.

On July 3, the high court had declined him bail in the money laundering case linked to alleged irregularities in the city government’s excise policy, holding that the charges against him are “very serious in nature”.

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In its May 30 order, the high court had said since Sisodia was at the “helm of affairs” when the alleged scam took place, he cannot say he had no role to play.

The high court had said with his party still in power in the national capital, Sisodia, who once held 18 portfolios, continues to wield influence, and since the witnesses are mostly public servants, the possibility of their getting influenced cannot be ruled out.

According to the CBI and the ED, 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.

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