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Delhi liquor policy case: Manish Sisodia's curative petition mentioned in SC for early hearing

New Delhi: The curative petition filed by Aam Aadmi Party leader Manish Sisodia challenging the top court decision rejecting his bail plea in a liquor policy irregularities case was mentioned in the Supreme Court on Monday seeking an early hearing of the plea.
Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, for Sisodia, mentioned the plea before the bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and apprised the top court that the trial court has said that former Delhi's Deputy Chief Minister's bail plea to be heard only after the apex court took the curative petition.
CJI DY Chandrachud asked Sisodia's lawyer to send an email and assured them to look into it.
Last year on December 13, the Supreme Court rejected the review petition of Manish Sisodia against a top court order denying him bail in an excise policy irregularities case.
The court had earlier noted that the existing excise policy was changed to facilitate and get kickbacks and bribes from the wholesale distributors by enhancing their commission/fee from 5 per cent under the old policy to 12 per cent under the new policy.
Accordingly, a conspiracy was hatched to carefully draft the new policy, deviating from the expert opinion/views to create an eco-system to ensure unjust enrichment of the wholesale distributors at the expense of the government exchequer or the consumer.
"The illegal income (proceeds of crime, as per the DoE) would partly be recycled and returned in the form of bribes," it noted.
The probe agency has alleged that Vijay Nair, who was the middleman, a go-between, a member of AAP, and a co-confident of the appellant - Manish Sisodia, had interacted with Butchi Babu, Arun Pillai, Abhishek Boinpally and Sarath Reddy, to frame the excise policy on conditions and terms put forth and to the satisfaction and desire of the liquor group.
The policy favoured and promoted cartelisation and large wholesale distributors with high market share because of extraneous reasons and kickbacks, were ensured to earn exorbitant profits, CBI alleged, which was noted by the court.
The top court had earlier also noted the CBI's submission that the excess amount of 7 per cent commission/fee earned by the wholesale distributors of Rs.338,00,00,000/- (rupees three hundred thirty-eight crores only) constitute an offence as defined under Section 7 of the PoC Act, relating to a public servant being bribed. (As per the DoE, these are proceeds of crime). This amount was earned by the wholesale distributors in ten months.
On July 3, 2023, the Delhi High Court denied him bail in both matters being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate.
In February 2023, Sisodia was arrested by the CBI for alleged irregularities in the framing and implementation of now-scrapped Delhi's new excise policy. The policy was withdrawn amid allegations of foul play by the opposition. Sisodia is currently in judicial custody.
According to the CBI, Sisodia had played the most vital role in the criminal conspiracy and he had been deeply involved in the formulation as well as the implementation of the said policy to ensure the achievement of the objectives of the said conspiracy.

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