[Excise Policy Case] 'Misuse Of Power and Breach Of Public Trust': Delhi High Court Denies Bail To Manish Sisodia

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The ED alleged that the excise policy was a conspiracy to grant certain private companies a 12 percent profit in the wholesale business. It was further alleged that Vijay Nair and South Group allegedly coordinated this scheme on behalf of CM Arvind Kejriwal and the then Deputy CM Manish Sisodia

The Delhi High Court, on Tuesday, denied bail to AAP leader Manish Sisodia concerning the liquor excise policy scam. The court concluded that Sisodia had gravely misused his authority and breached public trust.

The bench of Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma observed that the corruption in question originated from Sisodia's intention to create the liquor policy. The court asserted that he manipulated the policy formulation process and deviated from the recommendations of the expert committee he had set up.

Additionally, the bench noted that Sisodia did not meet the triple test criteria for bail in the CBI case. Specifically, he failed to produce two mobile phones he claimed were damaged. The court underscored that the possibility of Sisodia tampering with evidence could not be ignored.

In the PMLA case, the court found that the prosecution had established a prima facie case of money laundering against Sisodia. Despite this, the court upheld the trial court's order allowing Sisodia to meet his wife weekly.

The bench acknowledged Sisodia's significant influence, noting his oversight of 18 ministries. The court highlighted the potential for him to influence witnesses, many of whom were public servants who had provided statements against him.

The court rejected the trial court's assertion of a concerted effort by the accused to delay the trial. It emphasized the need to recognize the distinct roles of the individual accused and stated that similar legal strategies and applications do not constitute delay tactics, thereby affirming each accused's right to a fair trial.

The court determined that there was no delay attributable to the prosecution, either from the ED, the CBI, or the trial court. Consequently, the court dismissed Sisodia's second plea seeking bail.


The trial court, the high court, and the supreme court have all denied bail to Sisodia in both the ED and CBI cases. The supreme court further dismissed Sisodia's review and curative petitions against the denial of bail. 

Manish Sisodia was initially arrested by the CBI on February 26 and by the ED on March 9 of the previous year. The CBI accused Sisodia and others of making decisions regarding the 2021-22 excise policy without proper authority, intending to favor the licensee post-tender. The agency alleged that Sisodia's arrest was due to his evasive responses and lack of cooperation during the investigation.

The ED alleged that the excise policy was part of a conspiracy to grant certain private companies a 12 percent profit in the wholesale business, not documented in the Group of Ministers' meeting minutes. The agency claimed that a conspiracy, coordinated by Vijay Nair and others with the South Group, aimed to provide extraordinary profit margins to wholesalers. Nair allegedly acted on behalf of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.

Case Title: Manish Sisodia v ED and CBI