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Delhi excise policy case: SC refuses to grant relief to Manish Sisodia, allows to revive bail plea after final chargesheet filed

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to grant relief to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Manish Sisodia and disposed of his bail plea in the cases lodged by the CBI and the ED in connection with the alleged Delhi excise policy scam.A vacation bench of Justices Aravind Kumar and Sandeep Mehta recorded the submission of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), that final chargesheet will be filed in the matter by July 3.

The bench said Sisodia can revive his petitions for bail after the ED and CBI file their final prosecution complaint or chargesheet, respectively, in the cases involving alleged corruption and money laundering.

“We will not say anything. We will dispose with liberty to revive your prayers. We are not saying anything on merit, and all contentions are left open,” said the top court.

Senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, appearing for Sisodia, sought bail for him, saying trial in these cases have not yet started despite the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader being in custody for nearly 15 months.

Sisodia had approached the apex court, challenging the Delhi High Court verdict rejecting his bail pleas in cases lodged by the ED and CBI.Last week, the Delhi High Court dismissed Sisodia’s bail petitions in money laundering and corruption cases filed by the ED and the CBI, respectively, in connection with the alleged excise policy for 2021-22.High Court judge Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma, while rejecting bail pleas of Sisodia, said he has “not been able to make out a case for grant of bail”.

“The case at hand is a grave misuse of power and breach of public trust by the applicant, who was serving as Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi at the relevant point,” it stated.

Sisodia allegedly indulged in the destruction of crucial evidence, including electronic evidence, the High Court verdict had said, adding that he was a very powerful and influential person within the corridors of power of the Delhi government.

The High Court had said that as a minister with 18 portfolios, including the Department of Excise, Sisodia was entrusted with the formulation of a new liquor policy for Delhi.

The material collected during the investigation showed that Sisodia prima facie subverted the process of framing the excise policy by fabricating public feedback to suit his predetermined goal, according to the judgement.

Sisodia was arrested by the CBI on February 26, 2023, for his alleged role in the scam, and the ED arrested him in a money-laundering case stemming from the CBI FIR on March 9, 2023.

According to the probe agencies, irregularities were committed while modifying the excise policy, and undue favours were extended to the licence holders.

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

Sisodia had resigned from the Delhi cabinet on February 28, 2023.

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