SC judge recuses from Manish Sisodia's bail plea in excise policy case

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AAP leader Manish Sisodia (File image)

New Delhi: Supreme Court judge Justice Sanjay Kumar on Thursday recused from hearing pleas of AAP leader and former deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia by which his bail petitions has been sought to be revived in the excise policy scam cases.

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna, Sanjay Karol and Sanjay Kumar said another bench in which Justice Kumar is not a member will take up Sisodia’s two separate pleas for reviving his bail petitions in cases filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the excise policy scam case.

As soon as the matter was taken up for hearing, Justice Khanna said, "Our brother has some difficulty. He will not like to hear this matter for personal reasons." Senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, appearing for Sisodia, requested the bench to list the matter urgently, saying time is of essence.

He said the trial has not yet commenced in both the cases.

The bench said another bench will take it up on July 15.

On June 4, the top court had refused to entertain the bail pleas of Sisodia in cases lodged by the CBI and the ED in connection with the alleged Delhi liquor policy scam.

Sisodia had earlier moved the apex court challenging the Delhi High Court's May 21 verdict which dismissed his bail pleas in the cases probed by the two central agencies.

The AAP leader had challenged in the high court a trial court's April 30 order by which it had rejected his bail applications in the cases involving alleged irregularities in the formulation and execution of the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy for 2021-22.

On October 30 last year, the top court had denied him bail in the corruption and money laundering cases related to the alleged Delhi excise policy scam, saying the accusation of "windfall gains" of Rs 338 crore to wholesale liquor dealers was "tentatively supported" by evidence.

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.

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

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