Excise Policy Case: Manish Sisodia's Bail Request In Money Laundering Case In Delhi High Court Tomorrow

Former Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia Wednesday approached the Delhi High Court seeking bail in a money laundering case related to the alleged excise policy scam.

The plea was mentioned before Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma for an urgent listing and was allowed to be listed for hearing on Thursday, when it will be heard before Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma.

Mr Sisodia has filed a regular bail plea as well as an interim bail application on the ground of illness of his wife.

In his regular bail plea filed in the CBI case, Mr Sisodia had earlier argued that his wife has been suffering from multiple sclerosis, a degenerative disease, for 20 years and it was likely to worsen.

He has challenged a trial court's April 28 order by which his bail plea was dismissed in the money laundering case on the ground that the evidence prima facie "speaks volumes of his involvement in commission of the offence." Mr Sisodia's regular and interim bail pleas in the case lodged by CBI are also listed for hearing on Thursday before Justice Sharma.

He was arrested by the CBI and ED in the corruption and money laundering cases on February 26 and March 9 respectively.

The trial court, while denying him relief in the ED's case, had said that the prosecution was able to show a genuine and prima facie case for Sisodia's involvement in money laundering.

It listed such reasons as the "serious nature of allegations made and role played by Mr Sisodia in the criminal conspiracy, his connection with the activities relating to generation or acquisition and use etc of the proceeds of crime … and the oral and documentary evidence collected in support of the same" for the denial of bail.

The trial court had said that the medical illness of Mr Sisodia's wife was also not a ground to release him on bail, also that it cannot rule that he may try to influence prime witnesses in the case.

The trial court in its order had noted that Mr Sisodia has not been accused of laundering money in his individual capacity, but in his capacity as a public servant holding the charge or portfolio of Excise Ministry as well as being the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi.

The allegations made in the case are found to be serious since proceeds of crime in crores of rupees are alleged to have been generated or processed through different activities, it had said.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had opposed the bail application before the trial court, asserting that the investigation was at a "crucial" stage and claiming that the senior AAP leader had planted fabricated emails to show there was public approval for the policy.

The CBI and the ED had arrested Mr Sisodia for alleged corruption in the formulation and execution of the now-scrapped Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22 and for purportedly laundering the money generated from the policy.

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