After Manish Sisodia, an AAP politician and former deputy chief minister of Delhi, was denied bail by a CBI court last week, his judicial custody was increased. Manish Sisodia, an AAP leader and a former deputy chief minister of Delhi, now has custody of him till April 17, according to news agency ANI, which was announced on Monday by the Rouse Avenue Court in Delhi. According to the CBI, the probe is at a critical point and has proceeded forward with a request for an extension of judicial custody. This comes after Manish Sisodia’s bail request in the CBI-investigated excise policy scam case was denied last week.
The former excise minister was “prima facie the architect” of the criminal conspiracy involving the alleged payment of advance kickbacks totaling approximately Rs 90–100 crore, intended for him and his colleagues in the Delhi government, according to special CBI judge M K Nagpal. He also played the “most important and vital role” in the conspiracy. He noted that the senior AAP leader’s release at this time would “adversely affect the ongoing investigation,” according to news agency PTI. The senior AAP leader has been detained since February 26 in connection with the issue. The judge said out of the amount of the advance kickbacks, Rs 20-30 crore was found to be routed through the “co-accused Vijay Nair, Abhishek Boinpally and approver Dinesh Arora”.
Following numerous rounds of questioning by the agency, the CBI detained Sisodia on February 26 in connection with allegations of corruption in the creation and implementation of the now-cancelled Delhi Excise Policy 2021–22. In order to further explain the criminal conspiracy aspect, the judge referred to the CBI’s submissions on the investigation that had already been conducted. The judge stated that Sisodia had played the “most important and vital role in the above criminal conspiracy” and that he had been heavily involved in both the formulation and implementation of the said policy in order to ensure the accomplishment of the said conspiracy’s goals.
“Thus, it is clear from the above discussion that the applicant 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 objectives of the said conspiracy… Thus, as per allegations made by the prosecution and the evidence collected in support thereof so far, the applicant can prima facie be held to be the architect of the said criminal conspiracy,” the judge said, as quoted by PTI.
The CBI had opposed Sisodia’s request for bail, claiming that while he did not constitute a flight risk, he was “certainly” in a position to sway witnesses and obliterate evidence. Sisodia was detained by the agency on February 26 in relation to allegations of corruption in the creation and execution of the Delhi Excise Policy 2021–2022, which has since been abolished. Sisodia was detained by the ED on March 9 at Tihar jail, where he was being held in connection with a different investigation being conducted by the CBI.