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Rediff.com  » News » Court says Sisodia architect of conspiracy, rejects bail in CBI case

Court says Sisodia architect of conspiracy, rejects bail in CBI case

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
Last updated on: March 31, 2023 20:47 IST
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A court in New Delhi on Friday dismissed the bail plea of former deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia in the excise policy scam case of CBI, saying he was "prima facie the architect" and played the "most important and vital role" in the criminal conspiracy relating to alleged payment of advance kickbacks of around Rs 90-100 crore, meant for him and his colleagues in the Delhi government. 

IMAGE: Former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister and AAP leader Manish Sisodia produced before Rouse Avenue Court after his remand period ended, in New Delhi on Wednesday. Photograph: ANI Photo

Observing that the release of the senior Aam Aadmi Party leader, who is in custody since February 26 in the case, at the moment will "adversely affect the ongoing investigation", special CBI judge M K Nagpal said of the advance kickbacks amount, Rs 20-30 crore was found to be routed through the "co-accused Vijay Nair, Abhishek Boinpally and approver Dinesh Arora".

The CBI had arrested Sisodia in connection with alleged corruption in the formulation and implementation of the now-scrapped Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22 on February 26, following several rounds of quizzing by the agency.

 

Elaborating on the criminal conspiracy aspect, the judge referred to the CBI's submissions on the probe conducted so far and said Sisodia played the "most important and vital role in the above criminal conspiracy" and he had been deeply involved in formulation as well as implementation of the said policy to ensure achievement of objectives of the said conspiracy.

"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 crores 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," it said. 

Referring to the evidence collected so far by the CBI, the court said that they clearly showed that Sisodia through co-accused Nair was in contact with the south lobby and formulation of a favourable policy for them 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," it said in the 34-page-long order on the bail plea.

Acknowledging the vehement submissions that the AAP leader that he was not a flight risk, the court said even though he was not at flight risk, there were serious apprehensions that he may tamper with evidence.

"... But keeping in view his conduct as reflected from destruction or non-production of his previous mobile phones... and also the apparent role played by him in not producing or missing of the file of one cabinet note... There may be serious apprehensions of destruction or tampering of some further evidence and even of influencing some prime witnesses of this case by him or at his instance, in case he is released on bail by the court," the court said.

It said that the allegations against the AAP leader were "serious in nature" and that the investigation regarding his role was incomplete.

"Mere filing of a charge sheet against seven other co-accused does not matter much in a case like this where deep-rooted conspiracy for commission of some economic offences affecting the people at large is alleged to have been committed," the court said.

It said that the evidence collected so far by the CBI not only shows Sisodia's "active participation in the criminal conspiracy" but also the "prima facie commission of some substantive offences of the prevention of corruption (PC) Act".

"There is also nothing apparent on record to infer or show that arrest of the applicant, in this case, was illegal or violative of any directions of the Supreme Court or the high courts and rather, the material placed before this court by the CBI justifies the arrest of the applicant in the case," the court said.

The court also rejected Sisodia's bail on the ground of the medical condition of his wife, saying though the neurological or mental illness was claimed to be around two decades old but the documents filed on record were from 2022-2023.

"Moreover, the condition of the wife of the applicant as revealed through these documents cannot be considered to be severe or serious enough to release the applicant on bail and the same also cannot be taken to mean that she cannot take care of herself or has to be necessarily taken care of by the applicant only," the court said.

Dismissing the bail plea, the court further said that Sisodia's "release may adversely affect the ongoing investigation and will also seriously hamper the progress thereof".

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.