Supreme Court Judge Justice Sanjay Kumar Recuses From Manish Sisodia’s Bail Plea In Liquor Police Case

    Supreme Court judge Justice Sanjay Kumar has recused himself from the hearing of former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s bail petition, citing personal reasons. Sisodia’s bail plea pertained to the money laundering and corruption cases booked against him in the liquor policy case.

    A three-judge Bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna, Sanjay Karol and Sanjay Kumar was scheduled to hear the matter today. However, with the recusal of Justice Kumar, the Court re-listed the matter in a week commencing July 15th. 

    It may be recalled that on June 4, the Supreme Court had earlier disposed of Sisodia’s bail plea after taking on record the assurance given by the Solicitor General that the chargesheet/prosecution complaint in the liquor policy case would be filed on or before July 3, 2024. At the same time, the Court granted Sisodia the liberty to revive his prayers for bail after the final complaint/chargesheet was filed.

    At the commencement of this week, Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi mentioned Sisodia’s application for urgent listing before the Chief Justice of India. He stressed that Sisodia has been in jail for sixteen months and that the trial must conclude. Following this, the matter was listed today before a three-judge bench.

    Right at the outset of today’s hearing, Justice Khanna informed Singhvi, “My brother will not like to hear the matter for personal reasons.” Following this, Singhvi stressed that the matter is of extreme urgency. He underscored that the trial had not yet started and requested for the shortest date. Accordingly, the Court passed the following order: 

    Subject to order of CJI before bench where my brother is not a member, (list) in a week commencing July 15th”

    Sisodia has moved the Supreme Court assailing the Delhi High Court order dated May 21 that rejected his second bail plea. The former Deputy Chief Minister is seeking bail in the cases filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Directorate of Enforcement under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, respectively, in relation to the alleged liquor policy scam. He was first arrested by CBI and ED on February 26 and March 9 last year, respectively.

    Details of the impugned order

    While denying bail, the Single Judge Bench of Delhi High Court noted that Sisodia’s case depicted a grave misuse of power and breach of trust. It observed that the material collected in the matter showed that Sisodia subverted the process of making the excise policy by fabricating public feedback to suit his goal.

    In this Court’s opinion, this deceptive act was a calculated move to create an illusion that the Excise policy was formed after careful consideration of feedback received from the public. But in reality, the feedback was manufactured to justify the applicant’s predetermined decision to formulate the Excise policy, in defiance of the Expert Committee Report, to enrich a few individuals, in exchange for kickbacks,” the Court said.

    Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma also observed that Sisodia did not pass the triple test for bail in the CBI case, as it was admitted that he had failed to produce two phones he used and claimed that they were damaged. The court added that the possibility of tampering with evidence by Sisodia could not be ruled out. Bolstering its view, the Court also said that Sisodia was a powerful person, had responsibility for 18 ministries, and was influential.

    These senior officers, some of whom have given statements against him, can be influenced in case he is released on bail. The applicant is also a senior leader of Aam Aadmi Party. Thus, he is an influential person within the power corridors of Delhi Government,” the Court recorded in this context.

    In respect of the PMLA case, the court said that the prosecution was able to make out a prima facie case of money laundering against Sisodia. However, Sisodia would be permitted to meet his wife every week and the trial court order allowing him to do so will continue.

    Case Details: MANISH SISODIA  Versus DIRECTORATE OF ENFORCEMENT., SLP(Crl) No. 8781/2024

    Source link

    Latest articles


    Related articles