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Delhi excise policy case: "If released, he will jeopardize investigation", says CBI opposing Manish Sisodia's bail plea
New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday opposed the bail plea of AAP leader and Delhi's former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, and said that they have prescribed 60 days to file the chargesheet after the arrest.
"Sisodia was arrested on February 26, 2023, and if released on bail now he will jeopardize our investigation as the destruction of evidence was a constant practice," the agency claimed. CBI said, "If he is granted bail, it will scuttle and compromise our investigation as the influence and interference is writ large."
Special Public Prosecutor for CBI, Advocate DP Singh submitted that Manish Sisodia said that he destroyed phones because he wanted to upgrade. There was no upgradation done.
"According to our investigation, he (Manish Sisodia) did this to destroy the chat. He might not be at flight risk, but he is a definite risk who will destroy evidence, this cannot be ignored," Special PP for CBI said while opposing Sisodia's bail plea.
CBI also submitted that between 14-17 March 2021, South Group was residing in Oberoi, they prepared a note and took a printout. They got 36 pages of photocopies. There were meetings and the printout was done.
"As far as our case is concerned, do we find such money that comes from hawala sources, we can assume, it is not important, we have evidence to show that clauses were given and on that Group of Minister, the report was prepared," the CBI said.
The agency further said that during COVID's peak time, when people were stuck at home, the South Group took a chartered plane and travelled frequently to Delhi, stayed at Hotel in Delhi and was given a license against all norms.
"While the Govt was planning to change the excise policy of Delhi..the private players took 3 legal opinions from Mukul Rohatgi, former CJI Rajan Gogoi, and former Justice KG Balakrishnan. These legal opinions advocated the status quo," submitted CBI lawyer DP Singh during Manish Sisodia's bail arguments.
Appearing for Manish Sisodia, Senior Advocate Dayan Krishnan argued that, I complied with the notices issued to me. Joined the investigation, requirements of custodial Interrogation no longer survive as this stage is already crossed. The offences are punishable for up to 7 years. There is nothing material to show that I can influence the witnesses.
The fact of one phone is changed on the same date the matter was referred to CBI for the probe is a mere 'coincidence' submitted Sisdodia Lawyer while arguing for bail in the CBI case.
"I've deep roots in society. I joined the investigation when I was called before CBI. I am a public servant. Two more public servants were made accused in this case and allegations against them are far graver than mine. But they are sent without arrest," said Sisodia's lawyer.
Sisodia's lawyer also cited the medical condition of the wife and said, the wife is not well as she suffers from multiple sclerosis.
These are government policies that have gone through various steps. The policy was also placed before the LG. There is no likelihood that the trial, in this case, starting or be concluded soon, Sisodia's lawyer argued.
Former Delhi Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Manish Sisodia in his bail petition in a trial court stated that no fruitful purpose would be served to keep him in custody as all the recoveries have already been made.
Sisodia also stated that he has joined the investigation as and when called for by the CBI. The other accused persons arrested in this case have already been granted bail.
Sisodia further stated that he holds the important constitutional post of Deputy CM of Delhi and has deep roots in the society.
Sisodia was recently arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering matter related to alleged irregularities in the framing and implementation of the excise policy of GNCTD.
Rouse Avenue Court earlier while sending Sisodia to CBI remand directed that the interrogation of the accused during the remand period shall be conducted at some place having CCTV coverage in accordance with guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court and the said footage shall be preserved by the CBI.
Sisodia was arrested by CBI and ED in an ongoing investigation of a case related to alleged irregularities in the framing and implementation of the excise policy of GNCTD.
Earlier, the trial court observed that the accused had joined the investigation of this case on two earlier occasions, but it has also been observed that he has failed to provide satisfactory answers to most of the questions put to him during his examination and interrogation conducted and has thus, failed to legitimately explain the incriminating evidence which has allegedly surfaced against him in the investigation conducted so far. (ANI)