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Court Extends Manish Sisodia's Judicial Custody Till May 23

By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 08, May 2023, 17:04 pm IST | UPDATED: 08, May 2023, 17:04 pm IST

Court Extends Manish Sisodia's Judicial Custody Till May 23

New Delhi: Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court on Monday extended AAP leader and former Delhi Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia’s judicial custody till May 23 in connection with the ongoing probe by the Enforcement Directorate in the excise policy case.

The central agency had on Saturday submitted before the court that due to activities of the present accused Sisodia, a proceed of the crime of Rs 622 crores was generated in the case related to the excise policy.

The court also listed listed the supplementary chargesheet filed against AAP leader for consideration on May 10. The court also asked the ED to file the soft copy of the supplementary chargesheet on CD/DVD/Pen drive by May 8. The ED had earlier filed a 2,000-page chargesheet against jailed former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister for the first time.

Earlier, Delhi's ruling AAP claimed that the BJP should apologise for defaming Manish Sisodia since no evidence of corruption has been found by the ED and the CBI.

The AAP claimed that the court has stated in its order that there is "no evidence" to substantiate or corroborate the alleged corruption. Delhi Minister and AAP leader Atishi on Sunday said that BJP leaders should do a press conference and apologise to the nation, for peddling lies for defaming Manish Sisodia and alleged that "pressure was put on people to give false statements". 

Addressing a press conference, Atishi said, "There were two major allegations. First: Rs 100 crore bribe was received. Second: The amount was spent for Goa elections. But the Rouse Avenue court order, through which two people got bail, should be read properly, as it makes it clear that ED and CBI have no evidence of the corruption of even 1 Rupee. The judge repeatedly said in the 86-page order that there is no evidence." 

The Delhi Minister claimed that the Rouse Avenue court has stated in the order that there is no "specific evidence" to show the corruption. "The first allegation is that under the corruption, Rs 100 crore was given to AAP through kickbacks. BJP, as well as ED and CBI, were alleging that among those giving kickbacks was present businessman Gautam Malhotra," she said.

Atishi added citing the court order, "There is no specific evidence showing any such cash evidence of bribe or repayment of kickbacks. The only evidence presented has been some vague statements by witnesses, and on the basis of these statements, it cannot be inferred that cash payments were given as bribes."

She further alleged that ED had earlier mentioned Rs 100 crore, but later stated the amount as Rs 30 crore in the chargesheet. "The story of ED started with Rs 100 crore, but then itself came down to Rs 30 crore, as the agency has mentioned Rs 30 crore in its chargesheet. It was also alleged that a person named Rajesh Joshi took these Rs 30 crore of bribes to Goa. The court has also stated that there is no independent evidence collected by the agency to substantiate or corroborate this fact," she said.

The AAP leader also alleged that ED has mentioned only "Rs 19 lakh" being spent by the party during the Goa elections. "The second allegation was the bribe money was used for Goa elections. But, after conducting raids for six months, the court said that only Rs 19 lakh was spent through cash, and the rest was spent through cheque," Atishi added.

Slamming BJP, Atishi demanded the party leaders to apologise for "defaming" the former deputy CM. "Now, we hope that BJP leaders should do a press conference and apologise to the nation, for peddling lies for defaming Manish Sisodia. People are being pressurised to give statements. We saw three people take their statement back and alleged being pressurised. It was also alleged that 14 phones were broken, but all those phones are working. Then, Sanjay Singh's name was also brought, but later ED accepted its mistake," she said.

Atishi also said that the party will be appealing for Manish Sisodia's bail. Former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia is in jail over alleged irregularities in the excise case.

Sisodia was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the ongoing investigation of a case related to alleged irregularities in the framing and implementation of the now-scrapped excise policy in Delhi.

The CBI arrested Sisodia on February 26 this year. Later on March 9, the ED arrested him, after hours of questioning at Tihar Jail. Later in April, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was also summoned by ED for questioning in 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 account books to evade detection, the probe agencies said.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on May 4 filed a Supplementary charge sheet against former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia in the Delhi Excise policy case. The supplementary charge has more than 2100 pages. The operating part has 271 pages. The charge has been filed within the stipulated period of 60 days. The CBI has already filed the charge sheet in the matter.

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