In the Matter of Manish Sisodia v. Directorate of Enforcement Manish Sisodia, the petitioner, who was detained for the infraction under Section 3 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, submitted a bail plea. The Deputy Chief Minister of the Delhi Government was named in a FIR that was filed due to anomalies in the formulation and application of the excise policy for 2021–2022. According to the Office Memorandum, the petitioner, Arva Gopi Krishna, Pankaj Bhatnagar, and Arva Gopi Krishna recommended and made decisions without having the necessary power in order to provide licensees post-tender unwarranted advantages. The Deputy Chief Minister and Excise Minister were accused of drafting the excise policy in a way that enabled producers, distributors, and retailers to recover upfront payments and gain unfair benefits from the money made. Additionally, it was alleged that Indospirits was established as a special purpose entity to produce criminal gains.
Analysis of Court Order
A Delhi High Court bench with only one judge Dinesh Kumar Sharma of the Delhi High Court expressed the opinion that it was impossible to completely rule out the potential of influencing the witnesses given the petitioner’s high political office and membership in the Delhi government party. The Court went on to say that the petitioner had failed the triple test in addition to meeting the twin requirements outlined in Section 45 of the PMLA. As a result, the Court declared that the petitioner was ineligible for bail and dismissed the current case.
The Special Judge denied the petitioner’s request for bail in an order dated 28-4-2023, the Court stated. The court cited the Trial Court’s observation that, in rejecting the bail application, the petitioner herein was connected to the generation of proceeds of crime totalling approximately RS.100 Crores in the form of kickbacks paid by the “South lobby” to the co-accused Vijay Nair, through the co-accused Abhishek Boinpally, who had been attending meetings with various conspirators. By manipulating certain aspects of the excise policy and inserting advantageous conditions for the benefit of the conspirators, the petitioner made sure that the conspirators and members of the cartel received excessive financial benefits
The Court determined that the charges against the petitioner were severe and required a different strategy because of the pervasive conspiracy and the misappropriation of public monies. The Special Judge’s order was found to be valid and lawful. The petitioner’s high political standing within the Delhi party in power allowed him to sway witnesses, the court decided. The petition was dismissed, and the court determined that the petitioner was not entitled to bail.
CASE NAME – Manish Sisodia v. Directorate of Enforcement, BA NO. 1478/23