Delhi excise policy case: Court sends Manish Sisodia to 14 day judicial custody

A bail plea filed before the special court will be heard on March 10. But even before that, Sisodia may approach the Delhi High Court requesting the quashing of the FIR in which he is named.


ON Monday, former Deputy Chief Minister of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD), Manish Sisodia was sent to judicial custody till March 20, after his week-long custody at the Central Bureau Intelligence (CBI) headquarters ended on Monday in the alleged Delhi excise policy case.

At the hearing on Monday, the CBI did not ask for additional custody to be granted, but hinted that it might do so in the near future.

Sisodia will now be placed in Tihar Jail No. 1, according to the Delhi Prisons Department.

However, Special Judge M.K. Nagpal of the Rouse Avenue Court, Delhi directed the Jail Superintendent to consider Sisodia’s plea to be placed at the Vipassana Meditation Centre in Delhi during the period of his judicial custody.

Separately, a bail plea filed before the same court will be heard on March 10. But even before that, Sisodia may approach the Delhi High Court requesting the quashing of the first information report (FIR) in which he is named. High courts possess this power under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).

At Sisodia’s request, he would be allowed to carry a pair of spectacles, a diary, a pen, and a copy of the Bhagavad Gita.

Sisodia was named in an FIR filed under inter alia Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, but was not named in the chargesheet filed by the CBI in November last year.

Section 7 relates to public servants taking gratification other than legal remuneration in respect of an official act, and attracts an imprisonment of a term between six months and five years along with a fine.

During the hearing on Monday, the CBI charged supporters of the Aam Aadmi Party with politicising the matter in cahoots with the media, while also alleging that witnesses in the case are “terrified”. Advocate Mohit Mathur, appearing for Sisodia, contested these claims, asking whether the CBI was “scared of the media“.

Judge Nagpal clarified that the media cannot be restrained from reporting on the matter and till the time the protests were peaceful, the court would not be concerned.

Sisodia was remanded to five days of CBI custody last Monday, at the end of which the period of his custody was extended by two days on Saturday.

The Supreme Court last Tuesday had refused to grant Sisodia the relief of quashing the proceedings against him or ordering his release, taking exception to the fact that he had approached the Supreme Court directly under Article 32 of the Constitution, without first exhausting the alternative remedies available to him. Shortly after the hearing concluded, Sisodia resigned from the GNCTD cabinet.

The proceedings on Saturday as well as today saw clamorous protests outside the Rouse Avenue court complex by supporters of the Aam Aadmi Party, and heavy deployment of the Delhi Police and the Rapid Action Force.

The Leaflet