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Excise Case: Manish Sisodia sent to judicial custody till April 5
New Delhi: The Rouse Avenue Court on Wednesday sent Delhi's former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia till April 5, 2023, in a money laundering case pertaining to alleged irregularities in the framing and implementation of the excise policy of GNCTD.
The Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday produced Sisodia before the Court at the end of the custodial remand period granted earlier. The ED didn't seek further remand and moved an application for judicial custody. Noted this, Special Judge MK Nagpal sent Sisodia to judicial custody. Meanwhile, Manish Sisodia urges Court that he be allowed to carry some religious and spiritual books during judicial custody. Court said, "You move an application in this regard, and we will allow it."
On the last date of the hearing, while passing the order on remand extension the same Court said, "It cannot be ignored that investigation into an ED case is a complicated affair and keeping in view the intricacies of the case, the multiplicity of the persons/accused involved in the commission of the alleged offence of money laundering and the huge volume of the records or data seized during the investigation and required to be analyzed by the Investigating Agency, it is bound to take some time and the IO or Investigating Agency cannot be faulted or blamed for the same, though they are duty bound to do and conclude it as early as possible."
Further, it is not found specifically recorded in the remand application that further ED custody of the accused is required in connection with tracing out of proceeds of the crime, but it also cannot be ignored that the entire investigation of this case is guided only to achieve that goal and to find out the exact volume of proceeds of crime and the role of various persons involved in or connected with framing or implementation of the said policy, said the Special Judge MK Nagpal on last date.
Appearing for ED earlier, Advocates Zohaib Hossain submitted that huge mail data, and mobile data all of that are being forensically analyzed. The mobile phone was changed the day when LG wrote to the CBI, which was used by Sisodia for a long time.
Counsel for ED had further submitted that the statements were confirmed by the recovery of the data received from the computer of the arrestee. Mobile data, email data, and cloud data were also received during the interpretation.
Earlier, ED said, the act of pro-active destruction of evidence leads to only one inference that Manish Sisodia made conscious efforts to destroy evidence of the offence of money laundering, said Enforcement Directorate while seeking remand of Manish Sisodia in connection with the Excise Policy case.
Appearing for ED, Advocates Zohaib Hossain and Naveen Kumar Matta had earlier submitted that even in the statement given by Manish Sisodia on March 7, 2023, and March 9, 2023, he has been untrue. "On being asked about his association with Dinesh Arora, who handled the transfer of kickbacks from the South Group to Vijay Nair, he gave an answer contrary to what has been revealed by independent persons/stakeholders."
The ED earlier also told the court that Manish Sisodia had purchased SIM cards and mobile phones in other people's names.
There was a conspiracy behind framing the excise policy. The conspiracy was coordinated by Vijay Nair, along with others and the Excise policy was brought out for extraordinary profit margin for wholesalers, ED argued in the court.
ED told the court that the margin of 12 per cent of wholesale profit margin to private entities was never discussed in the GoM meeting.
The probe agency had also apprised the court about the meeting between Vijay Nair and K Kavitha (BRS MLC).
ED stated that accused Butchibabu Gorantla disclosed a political understanding between then Dy CM Manish Sisodia and K Kavitha who also met Vijay Nair. Butchibabu is the former auditor of K Kavitha and is presently on bail.
Countering Sisodia's lawyer's arguments, the ED lawyer told the court that if the policy is a matter of executive then there would not be a coal scam or a 2G scam.
He was arrested during his Judicial custody in Tihar Jail, where he was lodged in.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on March 9 arrested former Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia in the liquor policy case, after hours of questioning at Tihar Jail.
Sisodia was arrested by the CBI in the liquor policy case on February 26, 2023.
Sisodia was arrested by the CBI earlier in its ongoing investigation of a case related to alleged irregularities in the framing and implementation of the excise policy of the National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD). (ANI)