Former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who has been in jail since February 2023 on allegations of money laundering in connection with the liquor policy case, told the Rouse Avenue Court on Tuesday that he is eligible for bail as the Enforcement Directorate and Central Bureau of Investigation have not been able to trace any proceeds of crime to him, The Indian Express reported.

This was on the same day that the Supreme Court granted bail to Aam Aadmi Party MP Sanjay Singh in the case.

Sisodia, who is named as a “key conspirator” in the case, told the court that it would not serve any purpose to keep him in jail any further, reported PTI. He is alleged to have rejigged Delhi’s excise policy for the benefit of certain parties and causing hundreds of crores of losses to the public exchequer.

“There is no loss to the government exchequer,” advocate Mohit Mathur, representing the Aam Aadmi Party leader, told the court on Tuesday. “There is no loss to any individual. None of us who are consumers have been cheated of anything.”

Mathur argued that on the contrary the Delhi government’s revenue had increased after the now-scrapped excise policy was implemented in November 2021.

Sisodia was arrested on February 26, 2023, by the Central Bureau of Investigation. On March 9, 2023, the Enforcement Directorate arrested him in the same case.

In July, the Aam Aadmi Party leader had sought bail before the Supreme Court, arguing that the central agencies had not been able to prove that he had received any money arising from the revamped liquor policy.

Though the top court had warned the agencies that Sisodia cannot be held “in jail indefinitely”, it denied his bail application in October. In December, the court refused to review his bail verdict on grounds of a Rs 338 crore “excess profit” that had been accrued by liquor wholesalers due to the amended excise policy.

Mathur told the Rouse Avenue Court on Tuesday that the Enforcement Directorate had assured the Supreme Court in December that its investigation would conclude in six months, but that it was far from over.

The case

The Enforcement Directorate’s case is based on a first information report registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation alleging irregularities in the Delhi government’s now-scrapped excise policy.

The former deputy chief minster is accused of extra-procedural interference in framing the policy, according to The Indian Express.

Three top leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party, including Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Sisodia and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, have been arrested by the central agency in the liquor excise policy case.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court granted bail to Singh after the Enforcement Directorate said the Aam Aadmi Party leader’s custody was no longer required.

Singh was arrested on October 4 after the Enforcement Directorate conducted searches at his home.

The Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate have alleged that the Aam Aadmi Party modified the liquor excise policy to ensure a 12% profit margin for wholesalers and a nearly 185% profit margin for retailers.

The Enforcement Directorate has also claimed that members of a so-called South Group had paid at least Rs 100 crore in kickbacks to leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party through businessman Vijay Nair, who is also under arrest.