Supreme Court to Reconsider Manish Sisodia’s Bail Plea in Excise Policy Scam

The Supreme Court on Monday indicated it would review the listing of a new bail plea by AAP leader and former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia in connection with the excise policy scam cases. This development follows the refusal of the court to entertain his earlier bail applications on June 4, pertaining to the charges brought by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, representing Sisodia, has filed an application to revive a previously dismissed petition for bail, emphasizing the protracted nature of Sisodia’s incarceration without trial commencement. Sisodia has been detained for over 16 months. “The court said the trial must conclude; it hasn’t started. I filed the special leave petition (SLP), they gave liberty to revive after July 3. The court gave liberty to list…,” Singhvi noted during the proceedings.

Chief Justice of India responded to Singhvi’s query about the listing process, “Have you mailed… I will look into it,” highlighting the judiciary’s intent to examine the plea promptly.

Previously, the top court had provided Sisodia the option to reactivate his bail requests after July 3, following the expected filing of the final prosecution complaint and charge sheet by the ED and CBI. This timeline coincides with the agencies’ assurance, noted during an October 30 session last year, that their comprehensive submissions would be completed by early July.

Sisodia’s legal troubles stem from allegations of corruption and money laundering related to the now-defunct Delhi excise policy for 2021-22, which reportedly resulted in “windfall gains” of Rs 338 crore to wholesale liquor dealers, a figure “tentatively supported” by evidence, according to the Supreme Court’s previous findings.

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The ongoing saga saw Sisodia initially challenging the Delhi High Court’s May 21 verdict, which had dismissed his bail pleas following a similar decision by a trial court on April 30. His arrest by the CBI on February 26, 2023, and subsequent ED arrest on March 9, 2023, have led to significant legal and political ramifications, prompting his resignation from the Delhi cabinet two days after his initial detention.

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