New Delhi [India]: The act of pro-active destruction of evidence leads to only one inference that Manish Sisodia made conscious efforts to destroy evidence of the offence of money laundering, said Enforcement Directorate while seeking remand of Sisodia in connection with the Delhi excise policy case.
Appearing for ED, advocates Zohaib Hossain and Naveen Kumar Matta submitted that even in the statement given by Manish Sisodia on March 7, 2023, and March 9, 2023, he has been untrue. “On being asked about his association with Dinesh Arora, who handled the transfer of kickbacks from the South Group to Vijay Nair, he gave an answer contrary to what has been revealed by independent persons/stakeholders,” he said. On being asked whether Manish Sisodia had asked Dinesh Arora to come and sit next to him in a meeting that was held to resolve the issues of the retailers before the commencement of the business in 2021, he denied the fact and then he was confronted with the statements of his own Secretary C Arvind, Pankaj Bhatnagar, Asst. Commissioner, who had organised that meeting and Amit Arora, a retailer, who all have verified and corroborated the fact that during that meeting Manish Sisodia behaved with Dinesh Arora in a manner which showed the liquor industry that they had a close working relationship, said the ED.
Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court on Friday sent Aam Aadmi Party leader and former Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia to Enforcement Directorate remand till March 17 in the excise policy case.
Sisodia was presented before the court at 2 pm today after he was arrested by ED yesterday after hours of questioning in Tihar Jail where the AAP leader is lodged.
During the hearing, senior advocate Dayan Krishnan, appearing for Manish Sisodia, opposed the ED plea seeking Sisodia’s 10-day custody.
The agency said that it is seeking 10-day custody to interrogate Manish Sisodia to identify the modus operandi and to confront other persons who have been summoned.
The ED told the court that Manish Sisodia had purchased SIM cards and mobile phones in other people’s names.
There was a conspiracy behind framing the excise policy. The conspiracy was coordinated by Vijay Nair, along with others and the Excise policy was brought out for extraordinary profit margin for wholesalers, ED argued in the court.
ED told the court that the margin of 12 per cent of wholesale profit margin to private entities was never discussed in the GoM meeting.
The probe agency apprised the court about the meeting between Vijay Nair and K Kavitha (BRS MLC).
ED stated that accused Butchibabu Gorantla disclosed a political understanding between then Dy CM Manish Sisodia and K Kavitha who also met Vijay Nair. Butchibabu is the former auditor of K Kavitha and is presently on bail.
Countering Sisodia’s lawyer’s arguements, the ED lawyer told the court that if the policy is a matter of executive then there would not be a coal scam or a 2G scam.
Earlier, Sisodia was arrested on Thursday by ED in money laundering in connection with the excise policy case.
He was arrested during his judicial custody in Tihar Jail, where he was lodged.
Sisodia was arrested by the CBI in the liquor policy case on February 26 and was sent to 14-day judicial custody on March 6.
The ED also made another arrest in the case earlier, as it took Hyderabad-based businessman Arun Ramchandra Pillai into its custody.
The ED, on Thursday, summoned Bharatiya Rashtriya Samiti (BRS) MLC and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao’s daughter K Kavitha for questioning in the liquor policy case.
Sisodia was arrested by the CBI earlier in its ongoing investigation of a case related to alleged irregularities in the framing and implementation of the excise policy of the National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD). Delhi’s Rouse Avenue court sent him to judicial custody till March 20.