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Delhi excise policy 'scam': SC to pronounce verdict on Manish Sisodia's bail pleas on Oct 3

The Supreme Court is scheduled to pronounce its verdict 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.

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and S V N Bhatti, which had reserved its verdict on October 17 on both the pleas, will pronounce it.

On October 17, the top 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.

It had told the federal agency that it cannot go on assumptions of bribe being paid and whatever protection is there under law, needs to be granted.

Sisodia was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on February 26 for his alleged role in the “scam”. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader has been in custody since then.

The ED arrested Sisodia in a money-laundering case stemming from the CBI FIR on March 9 after questioning him in the Tihar jail.

Sisodia resigned from the Delhi cabinet on February 28.

The high court denied him bail in the CBI case on May 30, saying having been the deputy chief minister and excise minister, he is a “high-profile” person who has the potential to influence the witnesses.

On July 3, the high court declined him bail in the money-laundering case linked to alleged irregularities in the city government’s excise policy, holding that the charges against him are “very serious in nature”.

The Delhi government had implemented the policy on November 17, 2021, but scrapped it at the end of September 2022 amid allegations of corruption. According to the investigating agencies, the profit margins of wholesalers were increased from 5 to 12 per cent under the new policy.

The agencies have alleged that the new policy resulted in cartelisation and those ineligible for liquor licences were favoured for monetary benefits.

However, the Delhi government and Sisodia have denied any wrongdoing and said the new policy would have led to an increase in the State’s revenue share.

(Published 29 October 2023, 01:09 IST)

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