Kerala Kaumudi Online
Wednesday, 29 March 2023 10.42 AM IST

Sisodia's ED custody extended 


NEW DELHI: The Rouse Avenue Court on Friday extended former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia's Enforcement Directorate (ED) remand by five more days in a money laundering case pertaining to alleged irregularities in the framing and implementation of the excise policy of GNCTD.

While seeking further remand of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader in connection with the excise policy case, ED told the court that various crucial information is revealed during the custody of Manish Sisodia.

The agency further said, in view of the findings, it has summons to the then Excise Commissioner Rahul Singh for March 20 (who was first issued summons for March 15) but had taken adjournment of at least four days as he is suffering from viral infection and fever). Further summons to C Aravind, the then Secretary of Deputy CM for March 21, Dinesh Arora for March 17; and Amit Arora for March 20 have already been issued, said ED. The above findings and persons need to be confronted with Manish Sisodia, said ED.

Special Judge MK Nagpal on Friday extended the ED remand period of Sisodia till March 22, 2023.

Appearing for Sisodia, Senior Advocate Mohit Mathur had opposed the remand application of ED and submitted that personal liberty is paramount. "The court is the custodian of our liberty. My liberty is at your hand. During seven days custody, they had only four people to be confronted. Confrontation need not custody," the lawyer added.

Appearing for ED, Advocate Zohaib Hossain submitted that huge mail data, mobile data all of that are being forensically analyzed. The mobile phone was changed the day when LG wrote to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which was used by Sisodia for a long time.

Counsel for ED further submitted that the statements were confirmed by the recovery of the data received from the computer of the arrestee. Mobile data, email data, cloud data was also received during the interpretation, ED said.

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 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 and 9, 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," ED said.

Sisodia was on Friday presented before the court after the end of his remand period in the case, granted earlier by the same court

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 Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) MLC K Kavitha.

ED stated that accused Hyderabad-based chartered accountant Butchibabu Gorantla disclosed a political understanding between then Deputy Chief Minister 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 arguements, 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.

Earlier, Sisodia was arrested last week by ED in money laundering in connection with the excise policy case. He was arrested during his Judicial custody in Tihar Jail, where he was lodged in.

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 and was sent to 14-day judicial custody on March 6.

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