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Delhi excise policy case: No Bail for Manish Sisodia as he delayed trial, says judge

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A court in Delhi on Tuesday dismissed the bail plea of former Delhi deputy chief minister and AAP leader Manish Sisodia, who is in jail since February 26 last year for his alleged role in the Delhi excise policy case.

The court also lambasted Sisodia and other accused for moving applications and making oral submissions as a “concerted effort” to delay the trial in the case. “It is thus apparent that the applicant (Sisodia) individually, and along with different accused, have been filing one or the other application/making oral submissions frequently, some of them frivolous, that too on a piecemeal basis, apparently as a concerted effort for accomplishing the shared purpose of causing delay in the matter,” special judge Kaveri Baweja said in her order.

The court also strongly disapproved of the “delay” caused by the accused in inspecting “unrelied documents”.

It rejected Sisodia’s charge that the prosecution was deliberately causing delay in commencement of the trial. “The so-called delay caused in progression of the case is also clearly on account of reasons attributable to the applicant (Sisodia),” the order said.

The court also rejected Sisodia’s demand for interim bail on the ground that his wife is keeping unwell. “The application discloses no imminent or urgent need or any medical emergency warranting release of the accused/applicant on bail for this reason,” the court recorded. It also did not find force in Sisodia’s argument seeking parity with co-accused Benoy Babu, regional manager of Pernod Ricard India, who was given bail by the Supreme Court in December last year.

Sisodia is being probed by both the CBI and the ED in relation to the Delhi excise policy case.Opposing bail plea of Sisodia, the counsel for ED had previously contended that there has been no delay from the side of the prosecution. Rather, the accused have made deliberate and concerted attempts to delay the trial, the ED had alleged.The agency averred that 95 applications have been moved by 31 accused (before the court) in the case, including six applications by Sisodia. The ED’s counsel had alleged that majority of the applications moved by the accused are frivolous. The ED counsel had argued that for the last one month, inspection of documents has been going on in the “most lackadaisical manner” by the accused. “At every stage there has been cooperation from our side,” the counsel added.

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