Delhi excise scam: Court extends Manish Sisodia's judicial custody till March 22

CBI counsel claimed the investigation was at a crucial stage

AAP leader Manish Sisodia | PTI AAP leader Manish Sisodia | PTI

A Delhi court on Tuesday extended the judicial custody of jailed AAP leader Manish Sisodia in a corruption case related to the alleged Delhi excise scam.

Special Judge M K Nagpal extended Sisodia's custody till March 22 after he was produced before the court on the expiry of his remand.

The judge passed the order after the CBI counsel claimed that investigation was at a crucial stage, and if released on bail, Sisodia may hamper the ongoing probe or flee from justice.

The judge also heard arguments on an application filed by some accused in the case objecting to the commencement of arguments on the framing of charges.

Citing Supreme Court judgements, defence advocate Nitesh Rana told the court there cannot be further investigation once the trial has commenced and the trial commences after charges have been framed.

"Therefore, till the completion of the investigation there cannot be argument of charge," Rana told the judge.

The accused moved the application following CBI's submission that it may file a supplementary charge sheet in the matter.

The judge reserved the order on the application and is likely to pronounce it on March 22.

The CBI and the ED have alleged that irregularities were committed while modifying the Delhi Excise Policy 2020-21, undue favours were extended to licence holders, licence fee was waived or reduced and licences were extended without the competent authority's approval.

The beneficiaries allegedly diverted "illegal" gains to the accused officials and made false entries in their books of account to evade detection.

Sisodia was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on February 26, 2023 for his alleged role in the "scam".

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested Sisodia in a money-laundering case stemming from the CBI FIR on March 9, 2023 after questioning him in Tihar Jail. Sisodia resigned from the Delhi cabinet on February 28, 2023. 

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