Liquor Policy Scam: SC to hear Delhi Dy CM Manish Sisodia’s bail plea on Tuesday

The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia’s plea seeking stay on his arrest in connection with Liquor policy scam.

A bench led by CJI DY Chandrachud agreed to hear the plea at 3:50 pm today.

A special court on Monday had remanded Sisodia to CBI custody till March 4 in the Delhi excise policy case. The court had granted CBI five days custody which the authorities had sought for ‘effective interrogation’.

The court held that Sisodia’s subordinates have ‘disclosed certain facts’ against him and some ‘documentary evidence’ has also surfaced. The court further noted “proper and fair investigation requires that some genuine and legitimate answers to the questions being put to him about the same are to be found and, hence, in considered opinion of this court, this can only be done during custodial interrogation of the accused,” reported PTI.

Appearing on CBI’s behalf, special public prosecutor Pankaj Gupta contended CBI’s probe showed Sisodia ‘verbally directed’ secretary to create a new Cabinet note to alter the excise policy. “He was heading the group of ministers constituted by the Delhi Cabinet on excise policy…The profit margin was enhanced from 5% to 12%. He (Sisodia) could not explain why the changes were made,” the public prosecutor argued. He said CBI wanted to secure all phones Sisodia had used since January 2020 but Sisodia destroyed three of his four phones and submitted only one.

Appearing on Sisodia’s behalf, senior advocate Dayan Krishnan argued CBI’s grounds for custodial interrogation were legally untenable. Profit margin for alcohol was approved by lieutenant governor VK Saxena, who became complainant in the case, Krishnan contended. On the accusation that Sisodia destroyed his phones, the counsel asked if Sisodia was supposed to preserve his phones in anticipation of CBI’s arrest. CBI has sought custodial interrogation of Sisodia on the ground that he did not answer questions in the manner it wanted him to answer them, he contended. Granting remand based on ‘self-incrimination’ would be a travesty of justice, he argued.

(With inputs from PTI)

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