Manish Sisodia’s ED custody extended by 5 days in Delhi liquor policy case
The Aam Aadmi Party leader’s lawyer had argued there is not a whisper from the agency about the proceeds of the crime, which is fundamental to the matter.
A Delhi court on Friday extended Aam Aadmi Party leader Manish Sisodia’s Enforcement Directorate remand by five more days in a case related to alleged irregularities in the national capital’s now-scrapped liquor policy, Live Law reported.
The former Delhi deputy chief minister was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation on February 26 and is already in judicial custody in that case.
The Enforcement Directorate, which is investigating money laundering allegations, sought a week more from Special Judge MK Nagpal on Friday to investigate the allegations against him. The central agency said that Sisodia has to be confronted with other accused persons, including former excise commissioner Rahul Singh.
But Senior Advocate Mohit Mathur, representing Sisodia, questioned what the Enforcement Directorate had done till now.
He said there is not a whisper from the agency about the proceeds of the crime, which is fundamental to the case. “That is why I’ve moved this application opposing remand,” Mathur added. “Are they proxy agency of CBI? They’ve to show proceeds of crime, not the crime. CBI calls same people and so do these people.”
Mathur also argued that the Enforcement Directorate only wants to replicate the same process that had been followed by the Central Bureau of Investigation in the case.
Advocate Zoheb Hossain, for the Enforcement Directorate, opposed Mathur’s submissions saying that crucial information had come up during Sisodia’s custody.
“Investigation reveals that he was using a mobile phone for nearly eight months but it was changed on July 22, 2022, the same day when LG [Lieutenant Governor] forwarded the complaint to CBI,” Hossain added. “He says it was damaged. The timing is very important to note.”
The judge extended Sisodia’s custody and ordered that he produced in court next at 2 pm on March 22.
The liquor policy that led to the investigation against Sisodia was supposed to end the liquor mafia in Delhi and provide a “customer experience commensurate with the stature of the national capital”.
But the Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation have alleged that the excise policy was modified to ensure a 12% profit margin for wholesalers and almost 185% profit margin for retailers.
The Enforcement Directorate has alleged that a group of individuals identified as the “South Group” had “secured uninhibited access, attained stakes in established wholesale businesses and multiple retail zones [over and above what was allowed in the policy]”.