Delhi Excise Policy Scam: SC Issues Notice On Manish Sisodia's Plea Seeking Bail In CBI & ED Cases
The Supreme Court today issued a notice on the plea filed by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Manish Sisodia seeking bail in the CBI and ED cases arising out of the alleged Delhi excise policy scam.
The Bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna, Justice Justice Bela M. Trivedi, and Justice Ujjal Bhuyan directed "Issue notice returnable in both the matters. IA No.127490/2023 will taken up for consideration on July 28". The Court orally observed that it can consider the application seeking interim bail on medical grounds of Sisodia's wife and adjourned the matter. "On medical reasons yes but because of the status of parties...No", remarked Justice Khanna.
The Court also orally observed that "the impugned Judgement also records as far as policy decisions should not be made subject matter of Court but here the allegations are somehwat different, the policy decisions was for extraneous decisions and other considerations." Appearing for Sisodia, Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi submitted "I have pointed out the genuinely extreme serious condition of his wife so there is extreme urgency."
Appearing for the Respondents, Additional Solicitor General S V Raju opposed the hearing and submitted "On medical reasons also two applications have been rejected by the lower Court and they are guilty of suppression also." The Court accordingly adjourned the matter for July 28 for considering the interim bail application.
Sisodia moved the Apex Court challenging the two orders of the Delhi High Court which had dismissed his separate bail petitions in these cases. Sisodia, who also held the excise portfolio among many that he handled as the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, was first arrested by the CBI on February 26 for his alleged role in the "scam", and has been in custody since then. He resigned from the Delhi cabinet on February 28.
Referring to the ailing condition of Sisodia's wife, Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi had on July 10 mentioned the matter before the Chief Justice led Bench seeking an urgent hearing. Recently, the Enforcement Directorate had said that it has attached assets worth more than Rs 52 crore of arrested AAP leader Manish Sisodia, his wife and some other accused in the Delhi excise policy-linked money laundering case.
The High Court had on May 30 denied bail to him in the excise policy scam case being probed by the CBI, saying having been the deputy chief minister and excise minister, he is a "high-profile" person who has the potential to influence the witnesses. On July 3, the High Court declined him bail in a money laundering case linked to alleged irregularities in the city government's excise policy, holding the charges against him were "very serious in nature". Sisodia was arrested by the ED in connection with the money laundering case on March 9.
On June 5, the High Court had allowed Sisodia to meet his ailing wife for one day, it was noted that "However, at the same time this Court feels that the Petitioner should get an opportunity to meet his wife. Therefore one day as per the convenience of Mrs. Seema Sisodia, the petitioner be taken to his residence/hospital if she is admitted in the hospital, from 10 AM to 5 PM, in custody."
Cause Title: Manish Sisodia vs. CBI [SLP(Crl.) No.8167/23 & 8188/23]