Excise policy cases: SC to hear Manish Sisodia's bail pleas on Tuesday

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Manish Sisodia

AAP leader Manish Sisodia (File image)

New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Manish Sisodia has moved the Supreme Court challenging the Delhi High Court's verdict dismissing his bail pleas in cases lodged by the ED and CBI in connection with the alleged liquor policy scam.

As per the cause list uploaded on the apex court website, a vacation bench of Justices Aravind Kumar and Sandeep Mehta is scheduled to hear Sisodia's pleas on Tuesday.

In a major setback to Delhi's former deputy chief minister, the high court had on May 21 dismissed his bail applications in separate cases lodged by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the alleged liquor scam, saying the matter involved grave misuse of power and breach of public trust by him.

Sisodia's conduct amounted to a "great betrayal of democratic principles", the high court had said, adding he allegedly indulged in destruction of crucial evidence, including electronic evidence.

The high court had said Sisodia was a very powerful and influential person within the power corridors of the Delhi government as he held 18 portfolios in the city dispensation.

It had said as a minister having so many portfolios, including that of the excise department, Sisodia was entrusted with the formulation of a new liquor policy for Delhi.

Sisodia had challenged in the high court a trial court's April 30 order by which his bail pleas were rejected 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.

Sisodia was arrested by the CBI on February 26, 2023, for his alleged role in the liquor policy case. The ED arrested him in the money laundering case stemming from the CBI FIR on March 9, 2023.

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

While seeking bail for Sisodia, his counsel had submitted before the high court that the ED and the CBI were still arresting people in the money laundering and corruption cases, and there was no question of early conclusion of the trial.

Both the central probe agencies had opposed Sisodia's bail pleas in the high court on the ground that there were concerted efforts by the accused to delay the process of framing charges.

According to the probe agencies, irregularities were committed while modifying the excise policy and undue favours were extended to the licence holders.

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