The Supreme Court will pronounce its judgement on Monday on two separate regular bail pleas of former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia in corruption and money-laundering cases related to the now-scrapped excise policy for the national capital.
On October 17, a bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and S V N Bhatti had reserved its verdict on both pleas. On October 17, the apex court told the Enforcement Directorate (ED) that if a bribe that was allegedly paid for tweaking the Delhi excise policy is not part of the predicate offence, it would be difficult to prove the money-laundering case against Sisodia.
During the hearing, opposing the bail plea of Sisodia, ASG also read one line from the SC’s judgement upholding the provisions of PMLA and said that Section 45 of PMLA suggests bail can be given only in a “genuine case”.
Countering the argument of probe agencies, Senior Advocate AM Singhvi has apprised the top court that all evidence connected to matters is documentary in nature. He urged the top court to give bail to Sisodia, as there is a flight risk and there is no need to keep him behind bars. He also submitted that there is nothing to link Sisodia directly to the matter and no evidence that shows his connection with Vijay Nair.
Earlier, the Delhi High Court denied him bail in both matters. In its order passed on July 3, 2023, in the ED case, the Delhi HC stated that this court, inter alia, was of the view that, in view of the high political positions held by the accused and his position in the party in power in Delhi, the possibility of influencing the witnesses cannot be ruled out.
In February 2023, Sisodia was arrested by the CBI for alleged irregularities in the framing and implementation of now-scrapped Delhi’s new excise policy. The policy was withdrawn amid allegations of foul play by the opposition. Sisodia is currently in judicial custody.
According to the CBI, Sisodia had played the most important and vital role in the criminal conspiracy, and he had been deeply involved in the formulation as well as the implementation of the said policy to ensure the achievement of the objectives of the said conspiracy.