Transfer of Rs. 338 crores is tentatively established, hence Supreme Court denies bail to AAP leader Manish Sisodia

Share on:

Today, the Supreme Court of India denied bail to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia in connection with money laundering and corruption charges related to the Delhi excise policy scam. The AAP leader has been in custody since February 2023 and is being investigated by both the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) and ED (Directorate of Enforcement). The matter was heard by a two-judge bench today including Justice SVN Bhatti and Justice Sanjiv Khanna

While pronouncing the order, Justice Khanna said, “Legal questions have been answered in a limited way. In the analysis, there are certain aspects, which we said are doubtful. But one aspect, with regard to the transfer of money, Rs. 338 crores, is tentatively established. We have therefore dismissed the application for bail.” He further added, “We are dismissing the application for bail, but we have made one pointed observation which is that they have assured that the trial will be concluded within six to eight months. So within three months, if the trial proceeds sloppily or slowly, he’ll be entitled to file an application for bail. ”

On October 05, 2023, the matter was heard by the Supreme Court. The bench then listed the matter for hearing on October 12 stating that “Mr. Singhvi normally we don’t go so deep in bail matters but they have pointed out several issues which according to them disclose a criminal offence. The second part is with regard to PMLA. The only question is whether Section 3 can be invoked or not..” Earlier this month, the Supreme Court reserved its verdict on the bail plea of Mr. Sisodia. The decision was given after hearing the arguments of Senior Advocate Abhishek Singhvi and Additional Solicitor General SV Raju. 

SA Singhvi argued that there was no bribery allegation against Manish Sisodia in the predicate offence under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. He also argued that the charge sheet against Sisodia did not form part of a predicate offence. To this, Justice Khanna cautioned against proceeding and said, “Mr. Raju if it is not part of the predicate offence, that this bribe was paid, you may be in difficulty in proving the PMLA charge. If you had said a bribe was paid for tweaking the policy, yes. But you cannot create a predicate offence in your PMLA case. We cannot go on an assumption. Whatever protection in the law will be fully extended.”

The bench hearing the matter today refused to grant bail to AAP leader Manish Sisodia in the Delhi liquor policy case and told that he will remain in jail for six more months, after hearing the contentions. It further added that Sisodia can apply for bail again if the trial proceeds slowly.