Sisodia's custody extended till March 20, moved to Tihar Jail
Former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia was moved to Tihar Jail No. 1 on Monday after a special court remanded him to judicial custody till March 20. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) produced him in court on Monday afternoon after his weeklong remand expired. The probe agency arrested Sisodia in the alleged Delhi Liquor Policy scam case on February 26.
Why does this story matter?
- Sisodia was arrested last week after eight hours of questioning in connection with alleged corruption in the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led Delhi government's now-scrapped 2021-22 Delhi liquor policy case.
- The CBI has alleged that under the policy—which Sisodia was instrumental in proposing and formulating—the AAP had extended undue favors to liquor traders in lieu of kickbacks, which the party used in election campaigning.
Sisodia's request for spectacles, Bhagavad Gita granted
Special judge MK Nagpal presided over the hearing as the CBI's counsel said they weren't seeking an extension of the remand but might seek Sisodia's custody again in the next 15 days. The court also allowed Sisodia's application seeking spectacles, Bhagavad Gita, a diary, and a pen. It directed the jail superintendent to consider his request to be kept in a vipassana (meditation) cell.
Sisodia claimed CBI mentally harassing him
On Saturday, Sisodia's five-day custody was extended till Monday at the CBI's request. During the hearing on Saturday, the AAP leader alleged the probe agency was mentally harassing him by repeatedly asking the same questions from morning till late evening. The CBI arrested Sisodia on February 26, alleging he was giving evasive replies upon being questioned and wasn't cooperating despite being confronted with evidence.
CBI first questioned Sisodia last year
The CBI previously questioned Sisodia in October 2022, too. It also raided his residence and searched his bank locker, following which Sisodia claimed the CBI "found nothing." However, he didn't feature in the subsequent chargesheet that the CBI filed. Sisodia and the AAP have maintained that the scam allegations and the probe were a political vendetta by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led (BJP) Centre.
Sisodia's bail hearing scheduled for Friday
Sisodia, who resigned as Delhi's deputy CM on Tuesday, also approached the Supreme Court to challenge his arrest in the case. However, it refused to intervene in the matter and noted Sisodia had adequate legal remedies available before the Delhi High Court. Later, he moved a regular bail application before Delhi's Rouse Avenue Court, which is scheduled to be heard on Friday (March 10).