The Delhi High Court on May 30 rejected bail plea of former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, arrested in connection with the Delhi Excise Policy case, noting there are “serious allegations of misconduct” against him.
Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma said that statement of the concerned excise officers have been relied upon by the CBI in connection with its probe into the case.
“There are serious allegations of misconduct against Mr. Sisodia. He being an influential person and the witnesses being mostly public servants, the possibility of witnesses being influenced cannot be ruled out,” Justice Sharma said.
“In view of the circumstances, this court is of the view that Mr. Sisodia is not entitled to bail,” the Judge said rejecting the bail plea of the senior AAP leader.
The CBI had arrested Mr. Sisodia for alleged corruption in the formulation and implementation of the now-scrapped Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22 on February 26 following several rounds of questioning.
On March 31, a trial court here had dismissed Mr. Sisodia’s bail plea in the matter, saying he was “prima facie the architect” and had played the “most important and vital role” in the criminal conspiracy related to alleged payment of advance kickbacks of ₹90-100 crore meant for him and his colleagues in the Delhi Government.
Before the High Court, Mr. Sisodia had challenged the trial court’s decision and pointed out the other accused in the case were either not arrested or have been granted bail.
“The applicant [Sisodia] is totally innocent, who is a highly respected citizen and he has highest respect for the law. The Applicant is a victim of political witch-hunt, which has led to his arrest by the Respondent on account of ulterior motive to drag the reputation of the Applicant through the mud,” the bail plea filed by Mr. Sisodia had said.
The petition said the excise policy was the “collective responsibility” of the Cabinet and it was implemented after being drafted by the excise department. It said Mr. Sisodia cannot be held criminally liable for the collective decision of the Cabinet, the excise department, finance department, planning department, the law department and the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi.