Law & Judiciary

    "Why political party not made accused in liquor policy case?" Supreme Court asks ED

    The Hawk
    October4/ 2023
    Last Updated:

    Supreme Court asks ED

    New Delhi [India]: The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked why "a political party" has not been made an accused in matters pertaining to liquor policy irregularities as "a political party" is alleged to have benefitted from it.
    It is alleged that the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the national capital was the direct beneficiary of the liquor 'scam'.

    The court query came during the hearing on a bail plea filed on behalf of former Delhi deputy chief minister and AAP leader Manish Sisodia.
    A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and SVN Bhatti put this question to Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju, who was appearing for the Enforcement Directorate.
    The court remarked that a political party (AAP) is alleged to be the beneficiary of the money laundering but was not made accused or impleaded in the case.
    "How do you answer that," the court asked ED.
    The court also sought to know to what extent cabinet notes can be triable in a court of law.
    As the hearing on the bail plea of Manish Sisodia remained inconclusive, the matter was adjourned for Thursday.
    Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Sisodia, said his client is a sitting legislator and not a flight risk.
    Defending Sisodia, Singhvi said the liquor policy is an institutional decision spread over multi-levels.
    The former deputy chief minister has moved the Supreme Court seeking bail in CBI and ED cases related to alleged irregularities in the Delhi excise policy case. He moved the apex court challenging the Delhi HC order rejecting his bail plea.
    The CBI, in its affidavit, opposed Sisodia's bail plea, urging the Supreme Court to dismiss it saying that he is the kingpin and architect of the conspiracy in matters related to liquor policy irregularities.
    The probe agency said the health condition of Sisodia's wife is nothing new as her treatment has been ongoing for 23 years, as mentioned by the AAP leader himself. Sisodia had also urged the Delhi High Court for interim bail on identical grounds arising out of his wife's health condition, which he later withdrew after it was pointed out before the high court that the petitioner had suppressed vital facts in relation to the discharge of his wife from the hospital, the CBI said.
    Further, while withdrawing the said interim bail application, the petitioner, Sisodia, stated further before the high court that his wife's condition was stable, the CBI stated in its affidavit.
    The Delhi High Court denied him bail in both matters. In its order passed on July 3, in the ED case, the HC stated that this court inter alia was of the view that in view of the high political positions held by the accused and his position in the party in power in Delhi, the possibility of influencing the witnesses could be ruled out.
    Sisodia was arrested in February by the CBI for alleged irregularities in the framing and implementation of Delhi's new excise policy. The policy was withdrawn amid allegations of foul play by the Opposition. He is currently in judicial custody.
    According to the CBI, Sisodia 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 the objectives of the said conspiracy.