Dark clouds over AAP Govt as BJP hints
at Kejriwal meeting same fate as Sisodia


Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat before initiating prayers for the country on the occasion of the Holi festival, in New Delhi on Wednesday (ANI)

Manish 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

Our Bureau
New Delhi

The Rouse Avenue Court on Friday while sending Aam Aadmi Party leader Manish Sisodia to ED remand said that he is being remanded to custody for a period of 7 days till March 17 for the purposes of his “detailed and extensive interrogation and confrontations”.

The ED began questioning the senior AAP leader and one of the party’s founding members, days after it recorded his statement on Tuesday. 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.

Special Judge MK Nagpal said, Court is, prima facie, convinced that the arrest of the accused in this case is justified and ED has also the power to seek custody of the accused for his further examination and interrogation. However, Special Judge MK Nagpal also directed that his interrogation shall be conducted at some place having CCTV coverage in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court and also in accordance with all the other applicable rules, directions and guidelines on the subject and the said CCTV footage shall be preserved.

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 and 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 organized 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.

Meanwhile, reacting to Delhi former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s arrest by the Enforcement Directorate and Central Bureau of Investigation in connection with alleged irregularities in the now-scrapped liquor policy, BJP MP Manoj Tiwari asserted that Delhi Chief Minister would also meet the same fate.

“I can clearly foresee that in future, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal would meet the same fate as jailed ministers Sisodia and Satyendar Jain. You can cheat a human being, but you can’t cheat God. The way Delhi’s treasury has been looted, I don’t think any criminal or corrupt person will be able to escape,” Manoj Tiwari said. Days after the arrest made by the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday arrested Sisodia in the liquor policy case, after hours of questioning at Tihar Jail.

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.

In another development, newly appointed Delhi ministers Saurabh Bharadwaj and Atishi Marlena on Friday took charge of their respective departments in the Delhi secretariat. Both were sworn in as Ministers in the Delhi cabinet on Thursday in the presence of Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena at Raj Niwas. This came after President Droupadi Murmu on Tuesday accepted the resignations of former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Minister Satyendar Jain, both of whom are currently lodged in Tihar jail.

President Murmu on Tuesday appointed Atishi and Bharadwaj as ministers in the Delhi cabinet on the advice of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, with effect from the date they are sworn in, stated Ministry of Home Affairs.

Kejriwal had forwarded the names to the Lieutenant Governor for their appointment to the Cabinet. Atishi represents the Kalkaji constituency and has been a key member of Sisodia’s education team. She had also contested the 2019 Lok Sabha polls from the East Delhi constituency and lost to BJP’s Gautam Gambhir.

Bharadwaj, the party’s national spokesperson, had served the Delhi Jal Board as its vice chairman. The legislator from Greater Kailash was also a minister during the first stint of the AAP government.

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