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Delhi HC denies bail to Sisodia in money laundering case

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NEW DELHI, July 3 (PTI): The high court here on Monday dismissed the bail plea of AAP leader Manish Sisodia who was arrested on March 9 by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with a money laundering case related to alleged irregularities in the Delhi government’s excise policy.

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Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma refused to grant relief to the former deputy chief minister of Delhi, saying he has not been able to pass the triple test for bail in which the court has to see whether an accused is likely to flee from justice, tamper with evidence or influence witnesses.

Besides rejecting Sisodia’s plea, the Delhi High Court also refused bail to businessmen Abhishek Boinpally, Benoy Babu and Vijay Nair, who are co-accused in the money laundering case lodged by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) arising from the alleged scam.

Detailed orders are awaited.

While pronouncing the order on Sisodia’s bail plea, the high court said it has gone through the order of a special court which had earlier dismissed his bail plea and that it does not find any infirmity or illegality in the decision.

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“The petitioner (Sisodia) is not entitled to bail and the petition is accordingly dismissed,” it said.

The special court has passed reasoned order on the basis of material available on record, Justice Sharma said.

Sisodia, the former Delhi deputy chief minister and excise minister, was first arrested by the CBI on February 26 for his alleged role in the scam and has been in custody since then. He resigned from the Delhi Cabinet on February 28.

The high court has already denied him bail in the CBI case on May 30.

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He was arrested on March 9 in the case lodged by the ED and is currently in judicial custody.

The high court had on June 2 reserved its order on the bail plea of Sisodia, who has sought bail on various grounds including the deteriorating health of his wife who is suffering from multiple sclerosis.

The ED has opposed the bail plea of Sisodia as well as of other accused.

According to the CBI and ED, which are probing the cases against Sisodia, irregularities were committed while modifying the excise policy and undue favours were extended to licence holders.

Sisodia had challenged the March 31 order of the trial court, which had dismissed his bail plea saying he was prima facie the “architect” of the alleged scam.

The court had stated that he played the “most important and vital role” in the criminal conspiracy related to the alleged payment of advance kickbacks of Rs 90-100 crore meant for him and his colleagues in the Delhi government.

The Delhi government implemented the policy on November 17, 2021 but scrapped it at the end of September 2022 amid allegations of corruption.

On May 30, the court dismissed the bail plea of Sisodia in the excise policy scam being probed by the CBI, saying he is an influential person who could influence witnesses, who are mostly public servants, and the allegations against him are very serious in nature.

 

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