The Delhi High Court on Tuesday dismissed the bail plea of former deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia in the excise policy scam being probed by the CBI, saying he is an influential man and the allegations against him are “very serious” in nature. The court since Sisodia was at the “helm of affairs” when the alleged scam took place, he cannot say he had no role to play.
In its 43 pages judgement, Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma denied the relief to the AAP leader, who was arrested on February 26, saying he has held the post of the deputy chief minister with 18 portfolios and added the witnesses are mostly public servants and could be influenced.
“Presently also, the party of the applicant is in power. Therefore, it cannot be disputed that the applicant is a high profile person and has potential to influence the witnesses. Therefore, the apprehension of the CBI that the applicant might tamper with or otherwise adversely influence the witnesses cannot be ignored. The applicant is also not entitled to parity in view of his unparalleled position,” Justice Sharma said in a 43-page judgment.
Sisodia was arrested by the CBI on February 26.
The high court said the allegations against him are very serious in nature. Citing the allegations against the AAP leader, it said, the excise policy was formed at the instance of the “South Group” with malafide intention to give undue advantage to them.
“Such an act points towards the misconduct of the applicant, who was admittedly a public servant and holding highest position. The statement of the concerned excise officers has been relied upon by the CBI,” it said.
The gravity (of offence) and the allegations do not entitle the accused to be admitted to bail, it said, adding the court is clear about the fact that the excise policy has not been examined in the present proceedings nor the powers of the government to frame economic policies.
It said economic policies framed by the government also fall within their domain and courts have to be very slow in interfering with them.
“However, the court cannot interfere into the same, only if such policy decisions have been taken bonafidely and in the interest of the public. But if such policy decisions or schemes are alleged to have been taken malafidely or have the taint of any corrupt practice then certainly such decisions are required to be enquired into by concerned investigating agencies and examined by the court,” the high court said.
It also said the AAP leader failed the triple test required for grant of bail in the view of the seriousness of the allegations and his position.