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Sisodia moves HC seeking bail in CBI, ED cases

Sisodia has approached the high court challenging a trial court’s April 30 order by which his bail pleas in the two cases were dismissed.

ManishSisodia PTINEW DELHI: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and former deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia approached the Delhi High Court on Thursday to challenge a trial court order denying him bail in money laundering cases linked to the Delhi excise policy case.

Mentioning the matter before a bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet PS Arora, Sisodia’s counsel said that the petitioner is an MLA and that “there is urgency in the matter.”

In response to the plea, Justice Manmohan said, “Let it come tomorrow. Let the judge read the file. If your papers are in order by 12:30 pm today, we will have it tomorrow.”

As per the Delhi HC’s case list, the AAP leader’s bail plea will come up for hearing tomorrow before Justice Swarna Kanta Sharma.

Sisodia knocked on the doors of the Delhi HC after the Rouse Avenue Court, on April 30, rejected his bail plea in the case.

Sisodia is presently in judicial custody in both the cases registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the Delhi Excise Policy case.

Special judge Kaveri Baweja of Rouse Avenue Courts, which had reserved its verdict on April 20, dismissed Sisodia’s bail plea on the ground that the offence committed by the accused did not make out a case to be granted bail.

Senior lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Sisodia, had submitted to the court that the AAP leader has been languishing in jail for even more than a year, as he was arrested on February 26, 2023, over allegations of corruption in the formulation and implementation of the now-scrapped Delhi Excise Policy 2021–22 following several rounds of questioning. “He is innocent in the case. He has no role in the case,” Singhvi had told the court.

The prosecutor for the CBI, Pankaj Gupta, had opposed the bail plea of Sisodia and said that the accused did not satisfy the rigours of a grant of bail under the PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act), adding that Sisodia is a powerful person with “political clout.”

The prosecutor had argued that Sissodia might try to influence witnesses if he were to be released on bail.

Gupta further contended that Sisodia, who is the main accused in the case, is also not entitled to parity. He further elaborated to the court that the allegations against the AAP leader showed that a prima facie case is made regarding the destruction of evidence by him and of misuse of power, which may hamper the investigation.

So far, Sisodia has been denied bail by the trial court, the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court in both ED and CBI cases. The Supreme Court had also dismissed the AAP leader’s review petition, as he had sought bail, while his curative petition has also been dismissed.

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