“If AAP Benefited, Why Isn’t It Accused”: Supreme Court’s Liquor Case Query

Liquor Case
Liquor Case

The Supreme Court asked the Enforcement Directorate (ED) today why Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is not an accused in money laundering case relating to alleged irregularities if it benefited from Delhi’s now-scrapped liquor policy.

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Sisodia, Delhi’s former Deputy Chief Minister, was arrested in February in a money laundering case related to Delhi’s excise policy, and he requested bail before Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice SV Bhatti.

“As far as PMLA is concerned, you assert that the benefits went to a political party, but the political party hasn’t been charged or impeached yet. How do you respond to this?” the bench asked.

Also, the Supreme Court questioned whether cabinet notes can be examined in a court of law. “I believe there are specific Constitution bench judgments barring us from examining cabinet notes. Although Delhi is a Union Territory, I don’t know if it applies. Justice Khanna said that the issue of not being able to get into what Parliament says has now been referred to a larger bench.

Both questions will be answered tomorrow by ED’s Additional Solicitor General, SV Raju.

Abhishek Singhvi, Mr Sisiodia’s lawyer, listed how other accused have turned approvers and have been granted bail, while Mr Sisodia has been denied the same.

AAP’s 51-year-old leader, who is effectively the party’s second in command after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, has denied any wrongdoing and charged that the central agencies had cooked up a case to benefit the BJP.

In November 2021, the Arvind Kejriwal government introduced a liquor policy against Mr Sisodia. As a result of this policy, the government no longer sells liquor in retail stores and allows private licensees to do so. Licencees were alleged to have received “undue benefits” in a subsequent government report. Investigations are being conducted by the CBI and the ED in this case.

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