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Delhi excise scam: Sisodia to remain in jail till March 20

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Hemant Waje
Last updated on: March 06, 2023 20:49 IST
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Former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia landed in Tihar jail here on Monday shortly after a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court remanded the senior Aam Aadmi Party leader to 14-day judicial custody till March 20 in the excise scam case amid an escalating political slugfest.

IMAGE: AAP leader and former Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia at Rouse Avenue Court in connection with the Delhi excise policy case, in New Delhi, on Monday, March 6, 2023. Photograph: PTI Photo

Sisodia will spend Holi in jail after the CBI said it did not require his custody for now.

His bail plea hearing is expected to come up on March 10.

Sisodia, who joins his former cabinet colleague Satyendar Jain in jail, was produced before special judge M K Nagpal on the expiry of his seven-day custodial interrogation allowed by the court earlier after his arrest on February 26.

Jain is lodged in Tihar jail since May last year following his arrest in a money laundering case by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).


During the hearing, the CBI also accused supporters of the AAP of 'politicising' the matter.

It had arrested Sisodia in connection with alleged corruption in the formulation and implementation of the now-scrapped liquor policy for 2021-22.

The court allowed Sisodia to carry the Bhagavad Gita, spectacles, medicine etc. to jail while directing the Tihar jail authorities to consider his request for being allowed to do Vipassana meditation.

A Tihar jail official said Sisodia was brought to prison following the court order and he will be lodged in jail number-1 after the completion of due formalities.

As the AAP stepped up its attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party and also maintained that the CBI had no grounds to seek Sisodia's further interrogation, the Congress sought to clear the air over its stand on his arrest, asserting that the allegations in the Delhi excise policy case are serious and must be probed.

The Congress, which has largely kept its distance from the arrest of Sisodia, however, said its stand on misuse of central agencies is clear that they are used against the Opposition in most of the cases.

Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate told reporters that the Congress was not at all confused about its stance on Sisodia's arrest and that its stand is clear.

She also said the AAP does not utter a word when central agencies act against other Opposition leaders, be it from those in Congress, those in Bihar or Maharashtra.

AAP chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj on Sunday said the Congress never stands by the Opposition and engages in a war of words with the BJP merely to 'fool' the country.

At the CBI court, the counsel for the investigating agency submitted it was not seeking his custody right now which it may do later.

"An application to send the accused to judicial custody has been filed. It is submitted that the CBI custody is no longer required and the same may be sought later, if required. In view of submission made, the accused is sent to JC till March 20," the court said.

The CBI claimed that the witnesses yet to be confronted are under apprehension and terrified by the conduct of the accused.

"They are giving political colour to this. Entire arguments are running in media even before the court order is passed," CBI counsel Praneet Sharma told the court.

The submission was opposed by senior advocates Mohit Mathur and Siddharth Aggarwal, who said on behalf of Sisodia that the CBI 'should put their house in order'.

"From 10 in the morning it is running in media that CBI will be asking for judicial custody. That information I cannot give," Mathur said.

The court then told the CBI, "there must be something on your source."

The CBI further submitted that even while the court is hearing the case, 'they are calling the proceedings illegal'.

'Do not give it political colour. They are saying CBI is is doing wrong. This is not proper,' it said.

The defence then said the CBI should inform the court 'who are they' who are calling the proceedings illegal.

AAP leader Saurabh Bharadwaj claimed that the CBI had no questions, no grounds to seek his interrogation. "They have no documentary evidence."

Attacking the BJP, he said its spokespersons have been alleging on TV debates that the excise policy case is an open-and-shut case and showing fake documents to claim that there was a scam.

"If they have evidence, why don't they hand it over to the CBI," the AAP leader told reporters. He said the court will hear Sisodia's bail plea on March 10.

The Delhi Congress stepped up its attack on the AAP and put up posters showing the Sisodia and Jain behind bars with the caption 'the corrupt are in jail'.

Asked why the Congress was 'confused' about its stance on the issue, Supriya Shrinate said, "We are not at all confused, our stand is clear."

"Our stand is clear, the allegations (in the excise policy case) are very serious, we are the original complainant, and they should be probed. But in the same breath, we would say that these agencies are used against the Opposition in most of the cases."

Intensifying its attack on the AAP, BJP workers burnt effigies of 'corruption' and 'liquor scam' near Hanuman Mandir in New Delhi, as it reiterated its demand for resignation of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over the excise scam.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Hemant Waje© Copyright 2023 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.