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AAP's Manish Sisodia moves Delhi HC for bail in CBI, ED cases on excise policy

New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and former Deputy chief minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia moved the Delhi High Court on Thursday challenging the trial court order refusing him bail in the excise policy case being investigated by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Advocates Rajat Bharadwaj and Mohd Irshad mentioned the matter before the bench led by Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and requested for urgent listing of the matter.
Noting the submissions, the bench said, "Let the concerned judge go through the file if your papers are in order by 12.30 pm today, we will have it tomorrow."
On April 30, the Rouse Avenue Court dismissed the bail petitions of Sisodia for the second time in the case and said, "...This court is not inclined to admit the Applicant to Bail, either regular or interim, at this stage. The application under consideration is accordingly dismissed,"
Special Judge Kaveri Baweja also said, "It is apparent that the Applicant individually, and along with different accused have been filing one or the other application /making oral submissions frequently, some of them frivolous, that too on a piecemeal basis, apparently as a concerted effort for accomplishing the shared purpose of causing delay in the matter."
The court also added that the period of incarceration of Benoy Babu and that of the applicant (Manish Sisodia) cannot be equated, particularly in view of the findings in the preceding paragraphs of this order that the applicant himself has attributed to the slow pace of the proceedings of the case.
Sisodia has been in custody since February 26, 2023, after arrest by the CBI. Thereafter, he was arrested by the ED. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and BRS Leader K Kavitha were also arrested in the excise policy case.
The ED and the CBI had alleged that irregularities were committed while modifying the excise policy, undue favours were extended to licence holders, the licence fee was waived or reduced and the L-1 licence was extended without the competent authority's approval.
The beneficiaries diverted "illegal" gains to the accused officials and made false entries in their books of account to evade detection, the probe agencies said.
As per the allegations, the excise department had decided to refund the earnest money deposit of about Rs 30 crore to a successful tenderer against the set rules.
Even though there was no enabling provision, a waiver on tendered licence fees was allowed from December 28, 2021, to January 27, 2022, due to COVID-19, the probe agency said and there was an alleged loss of Rs 144.36 crore to the exchequer.

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