Excise policy case: Delhi court extends Manish Sisodia’s judicial custody

New Delhi, Feb 22 – A Delhi court on Thursday extended judicial custody of former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, arrested in the excise policy case being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), by 19 days.

Special judge M.K. Nagpal of the Rouse Avenue Court, who is hearing the case, had extended Sisodia’s judicial custody on February 5, and had permitted him to visit his ailing wife once a week during the period.

On February 12, the court had granted three-day interim bail to Sisodia to attend his niece’s wedding.

The judge had earlier also directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to submit a detailed status report on the case by the next date of hearing, expressing concerns over incomplete disclosure about the probe’s status.

The central agency had also filed a report stating that the investigation is ongoing and at a crucial stage, with completion regarding the 16 charge-sheeted accused persons. However, the defence counsel had objected, citing incomplete status reports and the need for time to scrutinise translated documents received recently. The court, recognising the complexity of the case, had directed the CBI to install necessary software in the laptops of defence counsel for efficient access to the voluminous case files.

On Thursday, counsels representing various accused individuals in the case, expressed concerns regarding the accessibility of certain documents provided to them by the CBI. Complaining that these documents were not opening on their computers, the counsels sought recourse from the court to address the issue.

Responding to the concerns raised, the court granted them a period of one week to visit the CBI office directly and view the documents in question.

Meanwhile, the CBI submitted the status report to the court, presenting an update on the progress of the investigation. Notably, the report was presented in a sealed cover.

The alleged excise policy scam is being probed by both the enforcement agencies – the Enforcement Directorate and CBI.

On Wednesday, the same court deferred its decision on whether to entertain Sisodia’s regular bail plea in the excise policy case being probed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), considering his pending curative petition before the Supreme Court.

The judge had, on January 17, reserved the order for Wednesday, following arguments from both the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Sisodia’s legal counsels.

The judge will now hear the matter on March 2, when the judicial custody of AAP MP Sanjay Singh and Sisodia will also expire.

The ED had, in the previous hearing, said that Sisodia’s regular bail application should not be entertained while his curative petition is pending before the apex court.


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