A court here on Friday extended by five days the Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody of AAP leader Manish Sisodia in a money laundering case related to the Delhi Excise Policy. The ED told the court that it wants to confront Sisodia with 1.23 lakh emails.
Also, weeks after resignation from the Delhi Cabinet, Manish Sisodia and Satyendar Jain’s bungalows have been allotted to newly inducted Ministers Atishi and Saurabh Bharadwaj.
Sisodia and Jain have been asked to vacate the bungalows on or before March 21, according to a letter by the Public Works Department on
In its remand application, the ED claimed that Sisodia was involved in “large scale destruction of digital evidence to impede probe” into the excise case and had changed and destroyed 14 phones.
In its remand application, seeking an extension of Sisodia’s custody, the ED said the major recommendations that ultimately formed the basis for the Excise Policy 2021-22, including fixing of 12 per cent profit margin for wholesalers, were not decided in the group of Ministers (GoM) meetings and instead “imported from external sources”.
The ED had arrested Sisodia on March 9 from Tihar jail, where he was lodged in connection with a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) case about alleged corruption in the formulation and implementation of the now-scrapped policy. The CBI had arrested him on February 26.
The ED is probing money laundering charges against the AAP leader. The application before Special Judge M K Nagapal, who extended Sisodia’s custody by five days, also claimed that the investigation conducted so far indicated that Sisodia is “actually involved in the activity connected to the acquisition, possession and use of proceeds of crime” and “therefore guilty of the offence of money laundering”.
In its application, the ED had sought a seven-day extension in Sisiodia’s custody. The agency alleged that Sisodia had withheld information which is in his “exclusive knowledge” and “extremely relevant to the investigation”.
It alleged that during the one-year period of the liquor scam, Sisodia changed or destroyed 14 phones or IMEIs, of which only one phone could be recovered by the CBI and two were produced during interrogation by the ED.
Sisodia changed or destroyed most of these phones right from the day of the complaint by the Delhi Lieutenant Governor (LG) to the CBI, which was also reported by the media on July 22 last year, the application claimed.
When questioned about the reason for changing a phone on July 22 last year, Sisodia said the phone was damaged, but he was unable to answer regarding what he had done with the broken or damaged phone, it claimed.
“This conclusion of the destruction of mobile phones is based on the fact that these 11 mobile phones or IMEls were not recovered during intensive searches conducted by Central investigative agencies or during interrogation,” the ED said.
Meanwhile, the BJP hit out at the AAP, accusing it of “drowning Delhi in alcohol” and trying to divert the country’s attention away from the liquor scam. At a Press conference, the BJP’s national spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi claimed that evidence available in the public domain show that decisions to subvert the liquor policy were taken at Kejriwal’s residence.
“Those (AAP) who used to call themselves ‘kattar imaandaar (hardcore honest)’ seem to be the ‘jhoothon ke sardaar’ (chieftain of liars). The rapidly emerging reality of this party is unmasking the true faces of its leaders,” he said.
The BJP spokesperson also alleged that corruption in AAP is not just restricted to one leader, but the entire Government is slept in it.
“By latching on to various issues, they have been wanting for the past several months to create an atmosphere where they can either suppress or deny the truth. In this commotion, people who are drowning Delhi in alcohol are trying to escape,” he claimed.