Excise policy scam: Sisodia moves Delhi HC for bail in CBI case, hearing on Thursday

New Delhi, April 5 : AAP leader and former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Wednesday moved the Delhi High Court seeking bail in the now-scrapped excise policy case being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

His bail plea is listed for hearing before Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma on Thursday.

On March 31, a Delhi court had dismissed his bail plea.

CBI Judge M.K. Nagpal of the Rouse Avenue Courts had, on Monday, extended former his judicial custody until April 17.

The central probe agency had sought the extension of Sisodia’s custody as the investigation is at a crucial stage.

While denying him bail, Judge Nagpal had said that Sisodia can, prima facie, be held to be the “architect of the criminal conspiracy”.

He observed that the payment of advance kickbacks of around Rs 90-100 crore was meant for him and his other colleagues in the AAP government.

“The payment of advance kickbacks of around Rs 90-100 crore was meant for him and his other colleagues in the GNCTD and Rs 20-30 crore out of the above are found to have been routed through the co-accused Vijay Nair, Abhishek Boinpally and approver Dinesh Arora and in turn, certain provisions of the excise policy were permitted to be tweaked and manipulated by the applicant to protect and preserve the interests of South liquor lobby and to ensure repayment of the kickbacks to the said lobby,” the court held.

The court is not inclined to release Sisodia on bail at this stage of investigation as his release may adversely affect the ongoing investigation and will also seriously hamper the progress, the order stated.

It said that the evidence collected by the probe agency so far shows that the applicant through the co-accused Vijay Nair was in contact with the ‘South lobby’ and formulation of a favourable policy for them was being ensured at every cost and a cartel was permitted to be formed to achieve monopoly in sale of certain liquor brands of favoured manufacturers and it was permitted to be done against very objectives of the policy.

“Thus, as per allegations made by prosecution and the evidence collected in support thereof so far, the applicant can prima facie be held to be architect of the said criminal conspiracy,” the court said.

It held that the allegations made against Sisodia are “serious in nature” and he does not deserve to be released on bail as he was arrested in the CBI case only on February 26 and that the investigation qua his role has still not been completed.


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