The Delhi High Court has dismissed former Deputy Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Manish Sisodia's bail plea in the corruption and money-laundering cases lodged by the agencies in relation to the alleged excise policy scam.

Pertinently, today, the Special Judge of Rouse Avenue Court extended Sisodia's judicial custody till May 31 in both ED and CBI cases.

The Bench of Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma observed that there has been no delay in the supply of documents or by the Trial Court.

The Court remarked that "justice hurried may lead to justice buried," as mentioned in the Apex Court's recent judgment in Sunita Devi v. The State of Bihar & Anr.

On merits, the Single-Judge Bench opined, "The applicant, Manish Sisodia, was involved in the destruction of mobile phones...was responsible for 18 a senior leader of the Aam Aadmi an influential person.."

The Court said that the prosecution has made out a case of money laundering. Furthermore, noting that Sisodia's wife is suffering from various diseases and needs the support of her husband, the Court opined that he will be permitted to meet his wife every week on the same terms and conditions as provided by the Trial Court.

Accordingly, the Court disposed of the bail petitions.

On May 8, the Court had granted ED and CBI more time to file reply in the matter. Earlier, on May 3, the Court had issued notices to the two agencies asking them to file their replies.

In the High Court, Sisodia had challenged a Trial Court’s April 30 order in which his bail petitions were dismissed on the ground that the stage was not right for granting bail to Sisodia. The Court had continued the interim relief earlier granted to Sisodia by the trial court to meet his ailing wife once a week in custody during the pendency of the pleas. The Trial Court dismissed Sisodia's bail pleas in the corruption and money-laundering cases lodged by the CBI and ED, respectively, in connection with alleged irregularities in the formulation and execution of the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy for 2021–22.

The beneficiaries diverted "illegal" gains to the accused officials and made false entries in their books of account to evade detection, the probe agencies have alleged. According to the CBI and ED, which are probing the cases against Sisodia, irregularities were committed while modifying the excise policy and undue favours extended to the licence holders.

In the April 30 order, the Special Judge denied the relief, saying the stage was not right for granting bail to Sisodia. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader was arrested by the CBI on February 26, 2023, for his alleged role in the "scam". The ED arrested the former Deputy Chief Minister in a money-laundering case stemming from the CBI FIR on March 9, 2023.

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

The High Court had dismissed Sisodia's bail pleas in the CBI and the ED cases on May 30 and July 3 last year. On October 30, 2023, the Supreme Court refused to interfere with the High Court's order, saying the allegation levelled by the probe agencies that "windfall gains" of Rs 338 crore were made by a few wholesale liquor distributors was "tentatively supported" by material and evidence.

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

Cause Title: Manish Sisodia v. Directorate of Enforcement along with Manish Sisodia v. Central Bureau of Investigation [BAIL APPLN. 1557/2024 & CRL.M.A. 13610/2024 & BAIL APPLN. 1559/2024 & CRL.M.A. 13621/2024]