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Delhi excise policy case: Manish Sisodia's judicial custody extended till May 31

New Delhi: Delhi's Rouse Avenue Court on Tuesday extended the judicial custody of former Deputy CM Manish Sisodia till May 31 in the Delhi liquor excise policy case.
The court has asked the accused persons to give an estimate of time required for inspection of documents. It has also directed the ED to file a comprehensive reply on a plea of Sameer Mahendru seeking support of CCTV footage.
The court has also directed the ED to file a detailed compliance report on how much time given to accused to inspect the documents and when they were not given time.
Sisodia has been in custody since February 26, 2023, after arrest by the CBI. Thereafter, he was arrested by the ED. Sisodia resigned from the Delhi cabinet on February 28, 2023.
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.
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.
The Delhi government implemented the policy on November 17, 2021, but scrapped it at the end of September 2022 amid allegations of corruption.

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