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May 15, 2024

Delhi Liquor Policy ‘Scam’: Sisodia’s Judicial Custody Extended Till May 30

The judicial custody of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Manish Sisodia has been extended till May 30 by a Delhi court in connection with a money laundering case related to the alleged excise scam in Delhi.

Sisodia, accused in the probe regarding irregularities in the now-scrapped Delhi liquor excise policy 2021-22, was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in February last year. Subsequently, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) also arrested him on March 9. He remains in judicial custody in both cases.

The decision to extend Sisodia’s custody came a day after the Delhi High Court reserved judgment on his bail pleas. During the hearing, the ED informed the bench of its intention to name the AAP as an accused in the ongoing liquor policy ‘scam’ case, stating that a supplementary charge sheet would be filed accordingly.

The AAP vehemently rejected the ED’s allegations, denouncing them as baseless and alleging political vendetta by the ruling dispensation. The party accused the ED of functioning like a political wing of the BJP and claimed that the intention behind the investigation was to frame the AAP.

Interestingly, while Sisodia remains in custody, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, his colleague, was granted interim bail in the same case last Friday by the Supreme Court. Kejriwal’s bail, conditional until June 1, was granted on the grounds of ongoing Lok Sabha elections. However, he is barred from performing official duties as per the court’s order and has been engaged in poll campaigning since his release.

The case revolves around the Delhi excise policy introduced in November 2021 and later scrapped in September 2022. The decision to scrap the policy came after Delhi Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena recommended a CBI probe in May of that year, citing alleged irregularities in its implementation.

The developments in Sisodia’s case underscore the intense legal and political battles surrounding the alleged scam. While the AAP continues to maintain its innocence and denounce the charges as politically motivated, the legal process continues to unfold. The Delhi High Court’s pending decision on Sisodia’s bail pleas and the ED’s intention to name the AAP as an accused are likely to shape the course of the case in the coming days.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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