The Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday told a Delhi court the investigation in the money laundering probe against Aam Aadmi Party leader Manish Sisodia in the alleged excise scam is at a ”crucial’ stage and it has found fresh evidence of his complicity.
The agency made the submissions while seeking time to argue on the bail application of the former Delhi deputy chief minister.
Special Judge M K Nagpal adjourned for April 12 the arguments on the application.
The judge also extended till April 17 the judicial custody of Sisodia after he was produced before the court and the agency sought an extension of custody.
During the arguments, the ED counsel said the agency was ”in the process of gathering fresh evidence that has come to light.”
”We need time...requesting court to grant time to advance arguments,” the counsel said after a brief argument.
The counsel appearing for Sisodia, meanwhile, claimed before the court the ED does not have evidence to prove the charge that he had indulged in money laundering.
”There's no basis (for the charge). They've probed and examined everything, raided my residence etc but found nothing. The (excise) policy was approved by various authorities concerned, including the LG. Now you're blaming Sisodia solely. Also, this (the probe) is not under the preview of the ED,” the counsel said.
He asserted the central anti-money laundering agency cannot make the vague allegation that he will tamper with evidence if enlarged on bail.
”You never claimed any effort by me to influence, contact, threaten witnesses when I was out and holding (excise) portfolio. Now I'm not even holding any portfolio,” he said.
The counsel claimed ”not a single penny” came to the bank accounts of Sisodia or his family members.
”There is nothing connecting me (Sisodia) to the proceeds of crime. Neither there are any allegations nor any material to show that I received the money, hid it or spent it,” the counsel asserted.
He said Sisodia was not the only person responsible for formulating the excise policy which was approved at different levels.
”A committee was formed, certain recommendations were given. Cabinet decided to constitute a GoM (group of ministers). This GoM has a duty to recommend the changes. It is then the duty of the excise department to draft the policy. GoM does not draft the policy... The policy went to several departments. Everyone accepted it. It also went to the LG,” he said.
He claimed after the policy was implemented the government received the highest revenue from the excise department in the last 10 years.
”The revenues are historic and there is no loss to the exchequer,” he added.
The counsel claimed there was no material to show co-accused Vijay Nair was Sisodia's representative for committing the crime of money laundering, as has been alleged by the probe agency.