Manish Sisodia’s plea for interim bail rejected; HC lets him meet ailing wife
The Delhi high court rejected Manish Sisodia’s plea for interim bail and ruled that he could meet his ailing wife on any day at home or hospital
NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court on Monday rejected former deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia’s request for interim bail in connection with a money laundering case linked to alleged irregularities in the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy, underlining that the charges against him were “extremely serious”.
The court, however, allowed Manish Sisodia to meet his ailing wife on any day at home or hospital. Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma said Sisodia could be taken out of jail between 10am and 5pm to meet his wife on any day convenient to his wife and directed the police to ensure that Sisodia didn’t interact with reporters. The judge also told the authorities that Sisodia should not interact with anyone except his family and barred him from using a phone or the Internet.
Justice Sharma first allowed Sisodia to visit his wife on Friday but the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader could not see her because she was hospitalised shortly before he reached home. Monday’s order allowed this meeting to take place at home or hospital.
On his decision to reject Sisodia’s interim bail, justice Sharma underlined that the AAP leader was earlier the city’s deputy chief minister.
“The allegations are extremely serious in nature. This court cannot forget the position held by the applicant. This court finds itself very hard to persuade to grant bail to Manish Sisodia,” justice Sharma said on Sisodia’s petition that sought interim bail for six weeks on the ground that he needed to look after his ailing wife.
On Saturday, the high court ordered Lok Nayak Jaiprakash (LNJP) Hospital to report on his wife, Seema Sisodia’s health.
On Monday, the high court cited the medical report and said that Seema Sisodia was conscious and her blood pressure and pulse rate were also stable. The court also suggested that the former deputy chief minister’s wife Seema Sisodia be examined by a medical board constituted by the All India Institute for Medical Sciences for better treatment.
“This court directs that the best medical treatment be provided to Mrs Sisodia. Though it is the choice of the patient and family members from where to get the medical treatment, however, this court as the guardian suggests that she may be examined by a board of doctors to be constituted by medical doctors to be constituted by medical superintendent of AIIMS, “ the court said.
ED on Saturday opposed the request for interim bail, claiming that Seema Sisodia’s condition had remained unchanged for the last 20 years and that there was a possibility that Sisodia could tamper with the evidence as some documents were allegedly removed from the office of special secretary vigilance after the top court’s ruling on the services department.
Advocate Zoheb Hossain, appearing for ED, also underscored that Sisodia’s wife has been suffering from a degenerative disease for over two decades and releasing the former minister for six weeks will not make any difference to her but only to Sisodia. Hossain also cited the 18 departments that Sisodia oversaw as a Delhi minister, saying he could not have been the sole caretaker because of his workload and that his mother-in-law looked after her.
Senior advocate Mohit Mathur who appeared for Sisodia, countered ED. “Yes, he is the only caretaker. The only son is studying abroad. Would it make a person less of a caretaker if he is holding 18 portfolios? We are busy dealing with multiple cases throughout the day. But don’t we go back home at the end of the day, and are we not the caretakers of the family?” Mathur also said a person’s life cannot be so insignificant that her husband cannot meet her even when she is in such a condition. “What kind of jurisprudence are we heading toward,” he asked.
CBI arrested Sisodia on February 26. The ED took him into custody on March 9 after quizzing him in Tihar Jail for approximately eight hours. He was sent to seven days’ ED custody on March 10, which was later extended by five days, before he was sent back to Tihar on March 22.
- Manish Sisodia