Former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia has been named as an accused in a 2,500-page supplementary chargesheet filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the money laundering case related to the Delhi liquor policy ‘scam’. Sisodia is the 29th accused in the ED chargesheet, which includes 271 operative pages and 2,100 pages of documents relied upon by the agency. This is the fourth chargesheet filed by the ED in the case, but the first to name Sisodia as an accused.
Sisodia was arrested earlier this year by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the ED for alleged corruption in the formulation and execution of the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy 2021-22 and for purportedly laundering the money generated from the policy. He has filed both a regular bail plea and an interim bail application on the grounds of his wife’s illness. Seema Sisodia has been undergoing treatment for multiple sclerosis for the past 23 years and was admitted to Apollo Hospital in Delhi last month after her health deteriorated.
The ED’s counsel has opposed Sisodia’s plea, contending that he was the key conspirator in the case. The agency has claimed that there was a “conspiracy” coordinated by AAP leader Vijay Nair and other individuals from a “South Group” to provide undue profit to private wholesalers. The agency has also alleged that Sisodia used SIM cards and mobile phones bought in the name of other leaders and destroyed 14 mobile phones, out of which two were recovered by the ED. Sisodia has denied the allegations regarding the destruction of evidence.
Last month, the CBI filed a supplementary chargesheet in the liquor policy case, naming Sisodia as the prime accused among four people. The chargesheet also named Butchi Babu, auditor of Bharat Rashtra Samithi leader K Kavitha, Arjun Pandey, and liquor trader Amandeep Dhal. The first chargesheet in the case was submitted by the CBI on November 25, 2022.
The Delhi High Court has sought the ED’s response on Sisodia’s bail plea and listed the matter for further hearing on May 11. The ED has claimed that the excise policy was modified to ensure a 12 percent business profit for private wholesalers.