AAP leader and former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia will remain in Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody till March 22, a Delhi court ordered on Friday. Sisodia's custody was extended by five days after the ED sought a week more to investigate allegations against him linked to the Delhi liquor policy case.
Sisodia was arrested by the CBI on February 26 over allegations of irregularities in the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy. The ED arrested the AAP leader on March 9 in the Tihar jail.
The ED told the court that crucial information had come up during Sisodia's custody and he had to confronted with other accused persons. It said voluminous data from Sisodia's email and mobile is also being forensically analysed.
Sisodia's lawyer said said there is no justification for the extension of custody and Sisodia was confronted only with four people during his earlier seven-day custody. The leader had argued that the ED questioned him "only for 30 minutes to one hour every day", further adding that ED can only probe proceeds of crime, not the crime.
It is alleged that the Delhi government's excise policy for 2021-22 to grant licences to liquor traders allowed cartelisation and favoured certain dealers, who had allegedly paid bribes for it. In its charge-sheet, the ED stated that hat its probe found that at least 36 accused, including Sisodia "destroyed, used or changed" 170 phones to conceal evidence of "kickbacks" worth thousands of crores of rupees in the alleged scam.