Senior AAP leader Manish Sisodia will remain in jail for six more months as the Supreme Court today refused him bail in the Delhi liquor policy case. A money trail of Rs 338 crore has been tentatively established in the case, the court noted and ordered that the trial be completed in 6-8 months.
Mr Sisodia can apply for bail again after three months if the trial proceeds slowly, said a two-judge bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and SVN Bhatti.
“We have referred to the arguments and some of the legal questions but we have not answered most of them. In the analysis, there are certain aspects which are doubtful regarding the transfer of Rs 338 crore transfer is tentatively established. We have rejected the bail,” said Justice Khanna.
The Supreme Court had earlier said Manish Sisodia cannot be kept in jail for an indefinite period and arguments must commence once chargesheet is filed.
The AAP is yet to comment on this latest setback in the Supreme Court.
BJP MP Manoj Tiwari said the Supreme Court denying bail to Mr Sisodia makes it clear that the AAP leadership is involved in corruption. “Top AAP leaders will be arrested soon. Arvind Kejriwal will certainly be arrested because the AAP leadership is entirely involved in corruption,” said Mr Tiwari.
Mr Sisodia, top aide of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, was arrested in connection with the alleged liquor scam on February 26 and has been in jail since. The Enforcement Directorate too had arrested him in a money laundering case linked to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)’s FIR on March 9 after questioning him in Tihar Jail.
He now faces two cases – one each by the CBI and ED. Mr Sisodia has denied any wrongdoing.
The CBI contends that liquor companies were involved in framing the now-scrapped excise policy, which would have brought them a 12 per cent profit. A liquor lobby it dubbed the “South Group” had paid kickbacks, part of which was routed to public servants.
The Enforcement Directorate alleged the laundering of the kickbacks.
The High Court had denied bail to Mr Sisodia in the CBI case on May 30, saying he is a “high-profile” person who has the potential to influence witnesses. On July 3, it declined bail in the money laundering case.
The AAP had earlier said Mr Sisodia’s arrest was an “attack on the Delhi model of governance”.
The former Deputy Chief Minister resigned from the cabinet on February 28. He was handling 18 portfolios at the time, including the Excise Department.