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Excise policy row: Manish Sisodia’s judicial custody extended till May 15 in CBI case

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New Delhi, May 7:  A Delhi court on Tuesday extended, till May 15, the judicial custody of former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia in connection with a money laundering case related to the excise policy case being probed by the CBI.

Special Judge Kaveri Baweja of Rouse Avenue Court has also set the next date for further arguments regarding the framing of charges against the accused in the case.

On May 3, the Delhi High Court issued a notice on Sisodia’s petitions seeking bail after a trial court denied him regular bail in cases filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) pertaining to the alleged excise policy scam.

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

While Sisodia remains under custody, Justice Kanta has 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 the next hearing on May 8.

Judge Baweja had on April 30 refused to grant bail to Sisodia who was seeking regular bail a second time.

Appearing before Judge Baweja, prosecutor Pankaj Gupta appearing for CBI had said that Sisodia does not satisfy the rigours for the grant of bail under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Claiming the AAP leader has political clout, the prosecutor said that he is influential and 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.

Gupta also noted that he hasn’t gotten bail from the high court and the Supreme Court.

Sisodia’s bail application has been pending since February.

Last time, 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 his 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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