Delhi liquorgate: Manish Sisodia's ED custody extended by 5 days
A Delhi court granted the Enforcement Directorate (ED) five more days of custody of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia until March 22 in the alleged Delhi Liquor Policy scam case. The ED, which took Sisodia's custody from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on March 9, sought an extension of his custody by seven more days.
Why does this story matter?
- Central probe agencies allege that Sisodia formulated a rigged liquor policy, under which the AAP government waived the licensing fees for a purported Southern liquor cartel in exchange for Rs. 100 crore.
- On February 26, Sisodia resigned as deputy CM after the CBI arrest.
- The AAP and other opposition parties have labeled the investigation a political vendetta by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
ED repeating entire process done by CBI: Sisodia's lawyers
ED's counsel told the court that critical information had surfaced during Sisodia's detention and he was confronted with other accused. It also claimed to have found large amount of data from Sisodia's email, which was sent for digital forensic analysis. Meanwhile, Sisodia's lawyers argued that earlier the CBI seized and analyzed his computer, and now the ED is trying to repeat the entire process.
No whisper about the proceeds of crime: Sisodia's lawyers
Sisodia's lawyers also argued that the CBI had mentioned the same point about Sisodia destroying his phones in their remand and that the ED must justify demanding another extension. They asked the court whether the ED is a proxy agency of the CBI. They also claimed that the ED has not mentioned anything about the proceeds of crime, which is central to the case.
Sisodia in CBI custody till March 21
The ED will now produce him before the court on March 22. To note, the CBI has Sisodia's remand until March 21. The ED has accused Sisodia of money laundering the proceeds of the alleged scam, which the agency pegs at around Rs. 292 crore. It had previously requested Sisodia's detention for at least 10 days to follow the money trail in the case.
BJP creating cascade of cases to keep Sisodia locked: AAP
In response to the case, the AAP says that the BJP is misusing the Central investigation agencies to build a cascade of cases against Sisodia, keeping him in jail for an indefinite period of time while they keep going back and forth with his custody.