In a significant development, the Rouse Avenue Court in Delhi has issued summons for former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia in a money laundering case related to the Delhi Excise policy. The summons were issued after the court took cognizance of the supplementary charge sheet filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on May 4. Sisodia is required to appear before the court on June 1, following the expiration of his judicial custody.
The ED, in its supplementary charge sheet, alleged that around Rs. 622 crore had been generated as proceeds of the crime due to the activities of Manish Sisodia. The charge sheet, comprising over 2,100 pages with 271 pages dedicated to the operating part, was filed by special public prosecutor Naveen Kumar Matta. Sisodia had previously been arrested by the ED on March 9, and prior to that, by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on February 26. He is the 29th accused to be arrested in this case.
While the CBI has already filed a charge sheet in the matter, Sisodia’s bail application in the CBI case was dismissed by the High Court. His bail in the money laundering case is still pending before the High Court. Sisodia has filed both regular and interim bail pleas, citing his wife’s illness and seeking a six-week bail period.
The Rouse Avenue Court, while dismissing his earlier bail plea, emphasized the gravity of the economic offences involved in the case and their impact on the public and society at large. The court noted evidence suggesting that kickbacks and bribes received from certain sources were allegedly used in connection with the election campaign of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Goa, including cash transfers through hawala channels and the creation of fake invoices as a cover-up.
Considering the seriousness of the allegations and the evidence presented, the court concluded that there was a prima facie case for Sisodia’s involvement in the alleged offence of money laundering. The ED had initially arrested Sisodia in the liquor policy case, and subsequently, the CBI arrested him as part of their investigation into irregularities in the framing and implementation of the excise policy of Delhi.
The upcoming court proceedings on June 1 will shed further light on the allegations against Manish Sisodia and determine the course of action in the money laundering case.