Bharti says CBI has no charge to prove against Sisodia, didn’t seek interrogation

Bharti, who is also a lawyer but doesn’t represent Sisodia before the court, said CBI did not seek further custody for interrogation because they may have nothing to prove against him.

New Delhi | Updated: 06 March, 2023 5:09 pm IST
AAP MLA Somnath Bharti speaking to media persons in Delhi.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has no charge to prove against senior AAP leader Manish Sisodia in the alleged liquor policy corruption case, said party leader Somnath Bharti on Monday.

Speaking to media persons after a Delhi court sent Sisodia to 14-day judicial custody, Bharti – who is also an MLA from AAP – said that the agency did not seek further custodial interrogation of the former deputy of CM Arvind Kejriwal.

“CBI did not ask for further police remand. They themselves concluded that they don’t require any further custodial interrogation because possibly there is nothing against him,” Bharti said.

He said that the court sent Sisodia to judicial custody till March 20 as per the standard process.

Bharti said that the Central agency told the court that it is getting a “bad name” because of its action against Sisodia in the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy case.

“CBI made a funny statement in the court. They said that CBI is getting a bad name outside (the court) because of this case. They said it is the court that has sent Sisodia to police custody first for five days and then for two days,” he told the media.

“Why should I be getting a bad name?” Bharti quoted the CBI counsel as saying.

Sisodia was arrested by CBI sleuths on February 26. On the next day, he was produced before a local court that sent him to five days of custody, which was again extended for two days.

The hearing on his bail application will be held on March 10.

During the hearing on Saturday, the agency told the court that Sisodia was “still not cooperating” in its investigation into alleged corruption in the formation and implementation of the liquor policy for the year 2022-23.

CBI filed a case into the alleged corruption on August 17, last year, based on a complaint filed by Lieutenant Governor Vinai Saxena.

Apart from Sisodia, the agency has named his close aide Vijay Nair, who is also the former CEO of Mumbai-based entertainment and event management company Only Much Louder, besides 13 private people across Lucknow, Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai and Karnataka, which include liquor firms Brindco and Indospirit.

In August last year, CBI carried out searches at several locations, including the premises of Sisodia. Even so, ED had carried out searches at over 169 locations in connection with the case.

In its FIR, CBI alleged that close associates of Sisodia were actively involved in “managing and diverting the undue pecuniary advantage” collected from liquor licenses to accused public servants.

Last year, the ED filed its first charge sheet in the excise policy money laundering case against five persons – Mahendru, Khao Gali Restaurants Pvt Ltd, Indospirits, Bubbly Beverages Pvt Ltd, IndoSpirits Distribution Limited – before a Delhi court. The court took cognizance of the ED charge sheet on December 22.

Last month, ED arrested Magunta Raghava Reddy, son of YSR Congress Party MP Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy, Gautham Malhotra and Chariot Media owner Rajesh Joshi.

The CBI also questioned K Kavitha, daughter of Telangana Chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, in connection with the case.

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