Delhi HC issues notice to CBI, ED on Manish Sisodia’s bail pleas after trial court’s rejection

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday issued a notice on petitions by former Deputy Chief Minister and AAP leader Manish Sisodia seeking bail after a trial court denied him regular bail in cases by CBI and ED related to the excise policy.

Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma sought replies from both the agencies — the CBI and the ED.

While Sisodia remains under custody, the judge allowed him to meet his wife once a week after noting that the ED has no objection to it.

Meanwhile, the matter will come up for hearing next on May 8.

Special Judge Kaveri Baweja of Rouse Avenue Court had on April 30, refused to grant bail to Sisodia who was seeking regular bail a second time.

On Thursday, the case was urgently brought before a Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet Arora by Advocate Rajat Bhardwaj, representing Sisodia.

The Bench had stated that they would list the matter for hearing on Friday, provided all necessary documents were submitted by 12.30 p.m. on Thursday.

During the trial court’s decision to deny bail, it was noted that delays in the case proceedings were largely due to actions attributable to Sisodia himself, dismissing his claims of undue delay.

Before the court, prosecutor Pankaj Gupta for the CBI had last time said that Sisodia does not satisfy the rigours of grant of bail under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Claiming that the AAP leader has political clout, the prosecutor had said that he was influential and also not entitled to parity.

The central probe agency accused Sisodia of being the main accused in the case and said that he might tamper with the evidence of the probe, which is at a nascent stage on certain key aspects.

Arguing that he hasn’t gotten bail from the High Court and the Supreme Court earlier, Gupta had said that if he gets bail now when the probe is at a nascent stage, it will solve his motive.

Sisodia’s bail application has been pending since February.

Recently, his judicial custody was also extended in both cases.

Earlier, the ED had contended that Sisodia and the other accused persons were delaying the trial in the case.

Citing the bail granted to another accused, Benoy Babu, Sisodia’s counsel Mohit Mathur had argued for bail, saying that he no longer holds a position of influence.

He had also stressed that Sisodia met the triple test for bail, as outlined by the Supreme Court, and urged for a speedy trial. Mathur further said that Sisodia’s eligibility for bail is established, given the fulfilment of all necessary conditions and the absence of any misuse of liberties, as per the Supreme Court’s guidelines.

IANS

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