Excise policy scam a deep-rooted conspiracy, CBI tells Delhi HC


New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) told the Delhi High Court on Wednesday that the excise policy scam it is probing is a “deep-rooted conspiracy” and that it is not as simple as depicted.

As Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma heard submissions in the bail plea filed by AAP leader and former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Additional Solicitor General S.V. Raju, appearing for the CBI, said: “Yesterday (April 25), we filed the charge sheet in the case. Cognizance is yet to be taken.”

Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) D. P. Singh also appeared for the CBI.

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Raju said: “The main players being, the accused (Manish Sisodia), Vijay Nair who was closely related to the Aam Aadmi Party and was in fact occupying a Ministers Bungalow, one Kailash Gehlot’s, side by side to the CM (Arvind Kejriwal). Nair was the communication in charge of AAP, and had access to party meetings.

“Our case is that at the behest of the ‘South Group’, the 5 percent interest was increased to 12 per cent, right after a meeting that happened with the members of the South group.”

While the “South group” was residing in the Oberoi Hotel in the national capital from March 14 to 17, 2021, they had prepared a note and taken the printout from Sisodia’s computer, according to the ASG.

He added that Sisodia is capable of pressurising persons and the day the CBI arrested him, he destroyed his phone.

After hearing the matter at length, Justice Sharma said: “At the stage of bail, we cannot go into much details. Please show me evidence on which you (CBI) are relying in the present case.”

Accordingly, the court adjourned the matter and scheduled it for next hearing on April 27.

During the last hearing, Sisodia had told the High Court that the CBI has no evidence to show his involvement in the alleged Delhi excise policy case, and that he is being singled out so that he could be kept in jail.

On April 5, Sisodia had moved the high court challenging the March 31 order of CBI Judge M.K. Nagpal (Rouse Avenue Court) dismissing his bail plea.

Senior advocate Dayan Krishnan, appearing for the AAP leader, had submitted before the bench of Justice Sharma that all the other accused in the CBI case have been released on bail except Sisodia.

He had also said that the probe agency has no proof to show that the AAP leader has tampered with evidence.

“They say that I do not cooperate. This can never be the ground to deny me bail. I am not required to cooperate, confess, or answer questions in the way they want. I am required to answer in the way I want, that is the Constitutional guarantee,” Krishnan had argued.

Another counsel for Sisodia, senior advocate Mohit Mathur, had said that CBI’s figures are just on paper and no money trail has been found.

“They have made me the chief architect of this alleged conspiracy through Vijay Nair. But Vijay Nair was arrested in September 2022 and was released in November, even before the charge sheet was filed. I was only called for questioning for the second time in February 2023. So, all these allegations about me being capable of influencing the witnesses is totally wrong,” Mathur contended on behalf of Sisodia.

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( With inputs from )

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