Sisodia architect of scrapped excise policy: CBI to Delhi HC | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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Sisodia architect of scrapped excise policy: CBI to Delhi HC

Apr 20, 2023 11:47 PM IST

The court also asked CBI to produce the officer who had investigated the case to explain the matter to the court

The Central Bureau of Investigation told the Delhi high court on Thursday that former deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia was “the kingpin and architect” of the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy while opposing the former minister’s bail plea. Meanwhile, Sisodia’s counsel contended that the investigating agency has not been able to find any evidence of money trail from him and that he was singled out.

Former Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia at Rouse Avenue court in March. (PTI)
Former Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia at Rouse Avenue court in March. (PTI)

The Delhi high court listed the matter for hearing on April 26.

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Citing the likelihood of tampering with evidence, the agency told justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma that during interrogation, the cabinet ministers and the chief minister confirmed that the policy was formulated by Sisodia and governed solely by the excise personnel, the ministry which was headed by him.

“His (Sisodia’s) influence and clout disentitle him to any parity with the co-accused. Sisodia has been confronted with sensitive documents and witnesses and is fully aware of the investigation. There is every likelihood that in case he is released on bail, he shall tamper with the evidence and influence witnesses, more specifically in light of his past conduct to derail the investigation,” CBI said in its reply to the bail application filed by Sisodia.

Senior advocates Mohit Mathur and Dayan Krishnan, appearing on behalf of Sisodia, contended that the allegations against Sisodia are “in the realm of likelihood”. Mathur contended that nothing concrete has been found by CBI, adding that other co-accused have also been granted bail in the case. Responding to the allegation that the policy was formulated to provide a profit margin to the alleged “south group” by increasing it from 5% to 12%, Krishnan contended there was a “fundamental fallacy” in the matter.

“The case is I am required to make a policy. LG made changes... sends it back to me. The policy is vetted by the finance secretary, law secretary… cleared by the cabinet, and sent to LG. It is fundamentally a documentary. Why should I be in custody for this? Why should I be singled out?,” Krishnan argued.

Rejecting Sisodia’s contention that he got approvals from departments and the office of the lieutenant governor, CBI said that the former minister enjoys close nexus with the executive, offices, and bureaucrats and his influence is evident.

“His party colleagues holding high ranks continue to make factually wrong claims in order to influence the investigation, also claiming the petitioner to be a victim of a political vendetta,” the agency said.

It added that the AAP leaders have made statements during press conferences that reveal how the effort of his former colleagues is simply to shield him.

Sisodia is currently lodged in judicial custody and moved the Delhi high court earlier this month challenging the order of the trial court, which denied him bail. While listing the matter for hearing on April 26, the court also asked CBI to produce the officer who had investigated the case to explain the matter to the court.

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    Reports from the Delhi High Court and stories on legal developments in the city. Avid mountain lover, cooking and playing with birds 🐦 when not at work

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