Denying bail to former Deputy Chief Minister in the CBI case alleging corruption in implementation of the excise policy for 2021-22, a special court on Friday said that Manish Sisodia can prima facie be held to be the architect of the criminal conspiracy. Sisodia is currently under judicial custody in the cases registered by the CBI and ED.
Special Judge MK Nagpal of Rouse Avenue Courts observed that the payment of advance kickbacks of around Rs 90-100 crore was meant for him and his other colleagues in the Delhi Government. After the court’s denial of bail to Sisodia, the AAP will move High Court to get bail.
Nagpal, who had reserved the order on the leader’s bail plea on March 24, said he was not inclined to release Sisodia at this stage.
“Thus, it is clear from the above discussion that the applicant had played the most important and vital role in the criminal conspiracy and he had been deeply involved in the formulation as well as the implementation of the said policy to ensure the achievement of objectives of the said conspiracy... Thus, as per allegations made by the prosecution and the evidence collected in support thereof so far, the applicant can prima facie be held to be the architect of the said criminal conspiracy,” the judge said.
“... This court is not inclined to release the applicant on bail at this stage of investigation of the case as his release may adversely affect the ongoing investigation and will also seriously hamper the progress thereof. Therefore, this bail application filed on behalf of the applicant is being dismissed,” the judge said in his 34-page order.
“The payment of advance kickbacks of around Rs. 90-100 crore was meant for him and his other colleagues in the GNCTD and Rs 20-30 crore out of the above are found to have been routed through the co-accused Vijay Nair, Abhishek Boinpally and approver Dinesh Arora and in turn, certain provisions of the excise policy were permitted to be tweaked and manipulated by the applicant to protect and preserve the interests of the South liquor lobby and to ensure repayment of the kickbacks to the said lobby,” the court observed.
“... But keeping in view his conduct as reflected from destruction or non-production of his previous mobile phones... And also the apparent role played by him in not producing or missing of the file of one Cabinet note... There may be serious apprehensions of destruction or tampering of some further evidence and even of influencing some prime witnesses of this case by him or at his instance, in case he is released on bail by the court,” the court said.
It said that the allegations against the AAP leader were “serious in nature” and that the investigation regarding his role was incomplete.
The court also rejected Sisodia’s bail on the ground of the medical condition of his wife, saying though the neurological or mental illness was claimed to be around two decades old but the documents filed on record were from 2022-2023.
“Moreover, the condition of the wife of the applicant as revealed through these documents cannot be considered to be severe or serious enough to release the applicant on bail and the same also cannot be taken to mean that she cannot take care of herself or has to be necessarily taken care of by the applicant only,” the court said.
A second bail application filed Sisodia is listed for hearing on April 5. Delhi BJP General Secretary Harsh Malhotra and Spokesperson Harish Khurana have said that with the court rejecting the bail plea of former Minister Manish Sisodia today, the AAP’s hollow claim that Manish Sisodia is innocent and he is being framed stands exposed. BJP leaders have said that it is clear from the court not granting bail that the allegations against Manish Sisodia and the evidence presented in the court by the investigating agency are strong and because of them the bail was not granted.