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ED gets Manish Sisodia’s remand till March 17 in Excise policy case

This comes after Sisodia was presented before the court at 2 pm today after he was arrested by ED yesterday after hours of questioning in Tihar Jail where the AAP leader is lodged.

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New Delhi: Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court on Friday sent Aam Aadmi Party leader and former Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia to Enforcement Directorate remand till March 17 in the Excise policy case.

Special Judge MK Nagpal allowed ED to quiz Sisodia for seven days. This comes after Sisodia was presented before the court at 2 pm today after he was arrested by ED yesterday after hours of questioning in Tihar Jail where the AAP leader is lodged.

ED has sought 10 days custody of Sisodia in the matter. During the hearing, senior Advocates Dayan Krishnan, Mohit Mathur and Siddharth Agarwal, appearing for Manish Sisodia, opposed ED plea seeking Sisodia’s 10-day custody.

The agency said that it is seeking 10-day custody to interrogate Manish Sisodia to identify the modus operandi and to confront other persons who have been summoned. ED lawyer told the court that the excise was implemented as part of a conspiracy to give wholesale business profit of 12 per cent to certain private companies. ED told the court that the margin of 12 per cent of wholesale profit margin to private entities was never discussed in the meeting of the Group of Ministers (GoM).

“There was a conspiracy to frame the policy in such a manner so as to ensure illegal benefits to some persons,” ED said. The ED told the court that Manish Sisodia had purchased SIM cards and mobile phones in the names of other people.

The agency also apprised the court that the proceeds of crime are quantified for over Rs. 292 crores. The probe agency apprised the court about the meeting between Vijay Nair and K Kavitha (BRS MLC).

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 stated that accused Butchibabu Gorantla disclosed that there was a political understanding between then Dy CM Manish Sisodia and K Kavitha who also met Vijay Nair. Butchibabu is the former auditor of K Kavitha and is presently on bail.

Opposing ED’s submission, Manish Sisodia’s lawyer called money laundering a draconian act where the power to arrest is an extreme position. Senior Advocate Dayan Krishnan called the arrest as malafide with the intention to keep the man in continued detention.

Senior Advocate Dayan Krishnan apprised the court that the Excise policy went to then LG, which sent three queries but none of them related to the profit margin or eligibility criteria. The lawyer also quizzed why the probe agency is not able to trace any money from his client.

Countering Sisodia’s lawyer’s arguments, 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.

Manish-Sisodia (1)

Earlier, Sisodia was arrested on Thursday 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.

The Enforcement Directorate (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.

The ED also made another arrest in the case earlier, as it took Hyderabad-based businessman Arun Ramchandra Pillai into its custody. The ED, on Thursday, summoned Bharatiya Rashtriya Samiti (BRS) MLC and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao’s daughter K Kavitha for questioning in the liquor policy case.

Sisodia was arrested by the CBI earlier in its ongoing investigation of a case related to alleged irregularities in the framing and implementation of the excise policy of the National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD). Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court had sent him to Judicial Custody in case being probed by CBI.

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