Influencing Of Witnesses Cannot Be Ruled Out: Delhi HC Dismisses Bail Application Filed By AAP Leader Manish Sisodia
The Delhi High Court today dismissed the application by AAP party leader and Delhi's former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia seeking interim bail to take care of his ailing wife. Sisdoia an accused in the Delhi excise policy case had challenged the trial court's order denying him bail in the case.
The single-judge bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma pronounced the order and held that "The Petitioner being an influential person and having held the position of Minister having 18 portfolios and the witnesses are most public servant, the possibility of the witnesses being influenced cannot be ruled out. In facts and circumstances, the court is of the considered view, the petitioner is not entitled to get bail."
The High Court stated that "The statement of the concurrent excise officer has been relied upon by the CBI. The court is restraining itself to make any comment on the material on record so as no prejudice is caused to the applicant or the prosecution."
The Bench also held that "The Court has not examined the administrative decision of the government. However, there are serious allegations of misconduct against the Petitioner."
The Court in its order also observed that the allegations are very serious in nature and that the excise police were found with malafide intention to give an undue advantage. Accordingly, the High Court dismissed the Bail Application.
The CBI arrested Sisodia for alleged corruption in the formulation and implementation of the now-scrapped Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22 on February 26, following several rounds of questioning.
On March 31, the trial court dismissed Sisodia's bail plea in the matter, saying he was "prima facie the architect" of the scam and had played the most important and vital role in the criminal conspiracy related to alleged payment of advance kickbacks of Rs 90-100 crore meant for him and his colleagues in the Delhi government.
Appearing for Manish Sisodia, Senior Advocate Mohit Mathur had contended that there was no suppression of facts and the mentioned document placed before the court for urgent listing disclosed his wife has been discharged from the hospital but she needs constant care.
The High Court had earlier issued a notice and asked the CBI to file its reply to Sisodia's regular bail plea. The CBI has opposed his bail plea, saying that the excise policy was manipulated to favour cartelisation and monopolisation in the liquor trade in the national capital, and Sisodia and businessman Vijay Nair are the main conspirators.
Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, representing the CBI, said in cases where the medical condition of someone remains bad, he will be the first person to say that relief should be granted.
The CBI, in its written reply opposing Sisodia's bail plea, claimed that the AAP leader was involved in the commission of grave economic offences and was key to unravelling the modus operandi of the crime. It said the bail plea was devoid of any merit and was an attempt to misuse the intricacies of the law to thwart the progress of the investigation in the case.
Cause Title: Manish Sisodia v. Central Bureau of Investigation [CRL.M.(BAIL) 630/2023]