AAP to be named as co accused in excise policy scam case: ED informs HC

  • | Wednesday | 15th May, 2024

The Enforcement Directorate, probing the excise policy case, told the Delhi High Court on Tuesday that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will be named as a co-accused in the case in its next prosecution complaint. The submission was made by the EDs special counsel Zoheb Hussain before Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma this afternoon, during arguments to oppose the bail application filed by AAP leader and former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia in the same case. AAP is going to be made a co-accused in the next prosecution complaint (charge sheet) to be filed in the case, EDs counsel said before Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma, who is hearing arguments on Sisodias bail plea while opposing his bail plea. The probing agency further said concerted efforts are being made by the accused to delay trial in the liquor policy case. The high court, which was hearing arguments on Sisodias bail pleas filed in the money laundering and corruption cases lodged by the ED and CBI respectively, reserved its orders. It is pertinent to mention that a petition by AAP national chief Arvind Kejriwal contending that a political party is not covered under the anti-money laundering law is pending in the high court. Recently, the high court while upholding Kejriwals arrest in the case has held that the rigours of Section 70 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), which deals with companies, are attracted in this case. The ED had likened AAP to a company and Kejriwal its director. The EDs lawyer further said there are concerted efforts by accused persons to delay the process of framing of charges in the case. The CBI, which adopted the submissions made by ED, also opposed the AAP leaders bail plea in the corruption case and said the delay was totally attributable to the accused persons.  While seeking bail for him, Sisodias counsel submitted that the ED and the CBI are still arresting people in the money laundering and corruption case and there is no question of early conclusion of the trial.Senior advocate Mohit Mathur, representing Sisodia, said the trial court judge, while dismissing the bail plea, has not shown how the AAP leader has contributed to the delay. I had filed an application to physically meet my wife. Thereafter, I moved an application to sign a cheque. How does it delay the trial? How have I contributed to the delay in the proceedings? The trial court has said that out of 38 applications, 13 were filed by Sisodia. But the court has not said how my application contributed to the delay, he argued.  Post dismissal of my earlier bail, three accused have gotten some relief from the Supreme Court. Benoy Babu in ED case. Sanjay Singh, again in ED case and Arvind Kejriwal most recently. There is no threat as far as my running away is concerned. I (Sisodia) have been in custody for 14.5 months, he argued. Showing the conduct of the accused persons, the ED counsel said 250 pleas have been filed before the trial court despite there being only 17 arrests. The investigation officer needs to be there in the court almost every day, he said. He further argued that the offence of money laundering has been held to be as grave of an offence as terrorism and other serious offences. The conspiracy was to see that AAP makes wrongful gains in the form of bribes and in the process ensure additional benefits to the persons who gave bribes. The present accused (Sisodia) was part of GoM, he was the member of highest body of the party, he was holding position of deputy CM and was minister in charge of the excise department, EDs counsel argued and added that the agency has digital evidences and statements of bribe givers that the accused reached to them.

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