Friday, March 24, 2023

Delhi court extends Sisodia’s ED custody

A Delhi Court on Friday extended Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and former Deputy Chief Minister’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody for further five days in connection with the now-scrapped excise policy case.
After the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on February 26 arrested him, the ED, on March 9, also arrested Sisodia in the same case.
Special judge M.K. Nagpal of the Rouse Avenue Court was told by the ED that important details have come up during Sisodia’s custody and he had to be confronted with other accused persons.
The probe agency informed the court that voluminous data from Sisodia’s email and mobile, etc. is also being forensically analysed.
Sisodia’s counsel, however, opposed the central agency’s remand plea saying that there is not a whisper from the agency regarding the proceeds of the crime, which is fundamental to the case.
His lawyer further contended that there was no justification in seeking extension of custody and that Sisodia was confronted only with four people during his earlier custody of seven days.
On March 10, the court had sent Sisodia to ED custody, which ended on Friday. The court had deferred hearing in Sisodia’s bail application for March 21, in the same case being probed by the CBI.
During the hearing, the ED had sought his 10-day custody saying that they need to unearth the modus operandi, the entire scam and confront Sisodia with some other people.
ED’s counsel Zoheb Hossain, while claiming that Sisodia was part of the “money laundering nexus” had said that the movement of tainted money through hawala channels was also being probed.
Hossain had submitted that the policy was formulated to ensure that certain private entities got huge benefits and that one of the biggest cartels was made to operate 30 per cent of liquor business in Delhi.
Referring to the meetings between restaurants association and Sisodia, ED alleged that relaxations were afforded to the restaurants in excise policy like reducing the legal age of drinking and other things.
The central agency had argued that Sisodia had destroyed the evidence.
“Within a span of one year, 14 phones have been destroyed and changed,” the agency had claimed.
“Sisodia has used phones purchased by others and SIM cards that are not in his name so that he can use it as a defence later. Even the phone used by him is not in his name,” the ED counsel had submitted.
He (Sisodia) has been evasive from the start, the ED had alleged.
There was a conspiracy behind framing the excise policy. The conspiracy was coordinated by Vijay Nair, along with others and the excise policy was brought out for extraordinary profit margin for wholesalers, the ED had argued in the court.

Probe agencies only have ‘fabricated’ stories: Raghav Chadha

AAP leader Raghav Chadha on Friday claimed that central probe agencies only have “malicious and fabricated stories” against former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and have been asking him the same questions.
Sisodia has been under ED custody since March 9 over a money laundering case related to the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy. He was first arrested by CBI in the same case on February 26.
In another press conference, AAP leader Sanjay Singh alleged that Sisodia has been treated even “worse than a terrorist.”
Addressing a press conference, Chadha claimed the CBI and the ED don’t have any evidence against Sisodia and he is behind bars as a result of BJP’s “politics of revenge.”
“The BJP is scared of AAP and has started a politics of revenge. CBI and ED don’t have any evidence against Manish Sisodia. They only have concocted stories against him. When the court said that CBI took Sisodia on remand, interrogated him and did not find anything against him, they got ED to frame more false cases against him,” Chadha alleged.
“The central agencies … only have malicious and fabricated stories against him. The CBI and the ED asked the same questions to Sisodia during his interrogation and the purpose of doing this was to keep Sisodia behind the bars,” he alleged.
On Friday, a Delhi court extended Sisodia’s ED custody for another five days, against the agency’s demand for seven more days of remand.
The ED told the court that crucial information had come up during Sisodia’s custody and he had to be confronted with the other accused persons. It said data from his email and mobile phone is also being forensically analysed.
Sanjay Singh said that the extension of ED custody for Manish Sisodia has “no context.”
“BJP’s dictatorship will not be tolerated and the whole country is watching how the party is misusing the central agencies. A leader who sacrificed his life for transformation of Delhi’s education has been targeted. Even a terrorist is not treated in such a manner,” Singh said.
Sisodia has been lodged in Tihar jail in connection with a Central Bureau of Investigation case pertaining to alleged corruption in the formulation and implementation of the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy for 2021-22.


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