NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) informed a Delhi court on Wednesday that it has found fresh evidence indicating former Delhi Deputy Chief Manish Sisodia’s involvement in the alleged excise scam, and the investigation is at a crucial stage. The agency also sought time to argue on the bail application of the AAP leader. Special Judge M.K. Nagpal adjourned the argument on the application until April 12 while extending the judicial custody of Sisodia till April 17 in connection with the excise policy case being probed by the ED.
Appearing for the ED, Special Public Prosecutor Zoheb Hussain argued that they need time to present the evidence and requested the court to grant this. “The agency is in process of gathering fresh evidence that has come to light for which we need time,” said Hussain.
Advocate Vivek Jain, who represented Sisodia, told the court that the ED lacks evidence to support the accusation that his client was involved in money laundering. Jain argued that the investigation has been thorough, including a raid on his home, but nothing incriminating has been found. “Furthermore, the excise policy was authorised by several relevant authorities, including the Lieutenant Governor, and it is unfair to place the blame solely on Sisodia,” the counsel said.
Sisodia’s counsel also emphasized that the ED does not have jurisdiction over this investigation. Jain further argued that the ED cannot make unfounded allegations that he will interfere with evidence if he is released on bail. He added that during the time when he held the Excise portfolio, the agency never accused him of trying to influence or intimidate witnesses. “Now he (Sisodia) is currently not holding any portfolio,” said the lawyer.
On March 21, Sisodia moved a plea seeking bail plea in ED’s case. After the CBI arrested the AAP leader on February 26, the ED also arrested him in the same case on March 9. (IANS)