10 Mar 2023

ED Arrests Manish Sisodia, Could Seek Remand From Court; Kejriwal Condemns Arrest

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday questioned former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, lodged in Tihar Jail on charges of alleged corruption and irregularities in Delhi Government's new Excise Policy for 2021-22, and arrested him under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Sisodia is to appear in court for bail on Friday

Sisodia, arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), is to appear in court for bail on Friday. Now tomorrow even if he gets bail in CBI case then ED may request the court to take him into custody for further questioning.

Sisodia was questioned for the second time on Thursday by a team of the ED, the central agency probing aspects of money laundering. The agency is probing aspects related to illegal transfer of funds in the alleged scam in Delhi's liquor policy. 

The ED has initiated action on the basis of a case registered by the CBI to probe allegations of irregularities in Delhi's liquor policy.

ED may produce Sisodia in court 

According to sources, the ED may produce Sisodia in the court on Friday to take him into custody.

Significantly, the CBI had arrested him on January 26 at its headquarters after a long seven-hour interrogation and quizzed him in custody on the orders of the court.

The ED had earlier questioned the former Deputy Chief Minister for about six hours in jail on Tuesday.

ED has also summoned Kavitha

In connection with the probe into allegations related to alleged illegal dealings with Southern Group in the Delhi liquor policy scam, the ED has also summoned Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao's daughter and Member of Legislative Council Ms. Kalvakuntla Kavitha to appear in Delhi.

Ms. Kavita had sought time from the agency citing preparations for a proposed sit-in demonstration on March 10 in Delhi in support of the Women's Reservation Bill and said she could appear on March 11. Now she has been called on March 11 to give her statement.

ED arrested Ramachandra Pillai of Southern Group on Tuesday. Pillai is said to be looking after Ms. Kavita's interests in the Southern Group.

Sisodia is also accused of destroying evidence related to the case. He had allegedly changed several of his phones during that time. There are many allegations against him like increasing the profit margin from five percent to 12 percent in the new excise policy, giving undue advantage to the wholesale suppliers of liquor, giving supply licenses to ineligible firms.

Sisodia kept in jail on false charges: Kejriwal 

Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal alleged that Sisodia was being kept in jail on false charges and that he was arrested by ED because he would've got bail. 

"First, Manish was arrested by the CBI. CBI did not find any evidence and no money was found during the raids. Tomorrow there is a bail hearing. He would have been released tomorrow. So ED arrested him today. They have only one aim -- to keep Manish inside at all costs by slapping false cases. People are watching. They will reply," Kejriwal said in a tweet.

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