A Delhi court yesterday sent Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia to five-day CBI custody in the liquor policy case.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia challenged his arrest by the CBI in the Supreme Court today. After hearing Mr Sisodia’s lawyer Abhishek Singhvi, Chief Justice DY Chandrachud asked why they didn’t go to the high court first.
Mr Singhvi cited the Vinod Dua case as the reason Mr Sisodia has approached the Supreme Court. Chief Justice Chandrachud said they’d hear the case at 3:50.
The Supreme Court threw out a sedition case against Vinod Dua in June 2021 because he criticized the centre’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dua went straight to the Supreme Court.
In the Delhi liquor policy case, a Delhi court yesterday sent Mr Sisodia to the CBI for five days. It needs time to question him about the new liquor policy, which was scrapped after Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena flagged it.
DY Chandrachud is likely to hear Mr Sisodia’s challenge today.
According to the CBI, Mr Sisodia gave evasive answers to their questions and couldn’t explain at least six problematic provisions in the liquor policy that weren’t in the first draft.
In exchange for kickbacks worth 30 crore, the CBI says the changes were made at the behest of a liquor lobby.
Using middlemen, traders, and bureaucrats, the CBI claims to be focusing on the alleged influence of a “South Lobby” of businessmen and politicians.
The CBI arrested Butchibabu Gorantla, a former chartered accountant of K Kavitha, leader of the Bharat Rashtra Samithi and daughter of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao.
Mr Sisodia’s computer was found with a draft note showing the profit margin clause for liquor firms has been changed from 5% to 12. CBI says Mr Sisodia gave the draft note to the excise commissioner after removing the legal expert’s opinion.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of Delhi, led by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, and opposition parties in the center, including the Trinamool Congress and Samajwadi Party, have condemned the CBI’s arrest of Mr Sisodia.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party, the BJP, are trying to sabotage Mr Kejriwal and Mr Sisodia’s election plans, according to the AAP.
Taking a swipe at PM Modi, the Trinamool Congress said the BJP has only a few allies, including “ED, CBI, I-T”, the Enforcement Directorate and the income tax department, in addition to the agency that arrested Mr Sisodia.
The BJP denied that the center used the CBI to harass AAP leaders. Mr Sisodia, who is also Delhi’s Education Minister, can’t hide alleged corruption behind the safety of his work on education.
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