The Delhi High Court on Tuesday rejected Aam Aadmi Party leader Manish Sisodia’s bail plea in the liquor policy case, Bar and Bench reported.

Sisodia, named as a key conspirator in the case, has been in jail since February 2023, when he was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation. On March 9, 2023, the Enforcement Directorate arrested him in the same case. He is in Delhi’s Tihar Jail.

He had moved the High Court on May 2, challenging a trial court’s order denying him bail in cases filed by both agencies.

While dismissing Sisodia’s plea on Tuesday, Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma said that the prosecution had been able to make a prima facie case of money laundering against him under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

The court said that Sisodia had indulged in tampering with evidence, referring to the two mobile phones that are claimed to have been damaged, Bar and Bench reported.

Sharma said that the former Delhi deputy chief minister’s conduct amounts to a “great betrayal of democratic principles”. The case highlighted the misuse of power and breach of trust by Sisodia, the court said, according to Live Law.

The court said it took into consideration that Sisodia, who handled several ministerial portfolios and as a senior leader of Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party, is an influential person.

It said that there was no delay in the case that could be attributed to the central agencies or the trial court. But it also rejected the trial court’s observations that all accused in the case had acted in concert to delay the trial, Live Law reported.

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 liquor policy.

The agencies have alleged that Delhi’s Aam Aadmi Party government modified the policy to ensure a 12% profit margin for wholesalers and a nearly 185% profit margin for retailers.

The former deputy chief minister is accused of extra-procedural interference in framing the policy.