Liquor Scam Accused Manish Sisodia Makes Lame Excuses to Get Bail from Court
Either the AAP politicians are foolish or they are deliberately hiding the fact that it is a case of white-collar crime in which only circumstantial evidence is required to catch and convict a criminal.
By Rakesh Raman
Manish Sisodia – an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) politician and former minister in the Delhi Government of chief minister (CM) Arvind Kejriwal – is offering lame excuses in the court to get bail by hook or by crook. In the court hearing today (March 21), Sisodia said that since his wife is unwell and he has to look after her, he should be released from custody.
But this Sisodia never thought about the families of those who may be suffering from his alleged crimes. The court did not grant him bail and fixed March 24 as the next date of hearing.
Earlier, the court in Delhi on March 17 had extended the ongoing custody of Manish Sisodia for five more days as he is trying to hide the facts in the liquor scam case.
Sisodia and AAP politicians are misleading the gullible public by claiming that the investigating agencies could not find the embezzled money at his home and there is no other proof of his criminality.
Either the AAP politicians are foolish or they are deliberately hiding the fact that it is a case of white-collar crime in which only circumstantial evidence is required to catch and convict a criminal. And also money is not supposed to be recovered directly from the accused.
Such white-collar criminals hide their money through money laundering routes and the investigating agencies track these routes after taking the accused persons in their custody.
In Sisodia’s case, there are numerous proofs of his involvement in the liquor scandal. For example, the destruction of mobile phones to destroy the digital evidence and the attempt to change the liquor policy with the intention to cause a loss to the state exchequer – and with the possibility of misappropriation of public money – is a very strong circumstantial evidence against Sisodia.
Also, the laws to deal with emerging financial crimes including corruption allow the investigating agencies to arrest and interrogate the accused for the purpose of prosecution and subsequent conviction just on the basis of circumstantial evidence.
These laws include the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (PC ACT), Chapter IX of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860, Vigilance Manual of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), prevention of grand corruption and rent-seeking regulations.
Therefore, the investigating agencies have taken the right action to arrest and imprison Sisodia. In fact, the evidence against Sisodia is so clear and obvious that by now he should have been convicted and jailed for many years.
The courts should not grant bail to such accused persons because corruption is a far more heinous crime than even murder because corruption has its devastating impact on the entire society. Rather, the courts should allow the custodial torture of arrested persons so that the stolen money could be recovered from them.
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Therefore, Kejriwal and other AAP politicians are making false claims when they say that Sisodia is innocent and blame the agencies for arresting Sisodia.
DISMISSAL OF KEJRIWAL GOVERNMENT
As it is alleged that Kejriwal and other AAP politicians are also involved in massive corruption scandals in Delhi, opposition parties are demanding Kejriwal’s resignation and dismissal of his government.
The opposition parties – Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress – in Delhi have been running aggressive campaigns to demand the resignation of Kejriwal, as they claim that Kejriwal is the kingpin in all the scandals happening in Delhi.
Today (March 17) in Delhi Assembly, BJP legislators raised the issue of corruption in the Kejriwal government and demanded his resignation and termination of his government.
As the political turmoil is increasing exponentially in Delhi which has become the corruption capital of India, it is expected that the Kejriwal government will soon be dismissed so that people could live in a corruption-free environment.
Under Article 356 of the Constitution of India, if a state government is not functioning according to Constitutional provisions, the Central government can dismiss the government and take control of the state governance. In such a case, the governor appointed by the Central government becomes the exclusive administrative head of the state.
Earlier, on March 10, the court had granted Sisodia’s custody until March 17 as he has been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case related to the liquor scam in Delhi.
Separately, the court will hear Sisodia’s bail plea in the same liquor scam case being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on March 21.
Sisodia was arrested on February 26 by the CBI for his interrogation in a massive liquor scam case in Delhi. In a statement released on February 26, CBI said that Sisodia was arrested because he gave evasive replies and did not cooperate in the investigation despite being confronted with evidence.
Reports suggest that Sisodia was produced in a court on February 27 and the court had granted a 5-day custody to the CBI for his further interrogation so that other culprits in the criminal network could also be caught, convicted, and jailed.
It is likely that soon other AAP politicians – including Kejriwal – may be jailed for various crimes and acts of corruption that they may be committing secretly. In fact, under the Kejriwal government, Delhi has become the corruption capital of India.
Similarly, AAP politicians in Punjab led by CM Bhagwant Mann may be arrested and jailed as Sisodia’s dubious Delhi liquor policy is being implemented in Punjab also. The president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) Sukhbir Singh Badal has urged the Punjab Governor to hold a probe into the alleged Rs. 500-crore liquor policy scam committed by the AAP Government in the state.
IMPRISONMENT OF AAP POLITICIANS
Sisodia – who is the prime accused in the liquor scandal – shamelessly went in a procession to the CBI office on February 26 with a crowd of AAP supporters who shouted slogans in his favour as if he is a champion in some competition.
In a dramatic manner, Sisodia also went to Raj Ghat – a memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi in Delhi – to ostensibly show that he follows the truthful path of Mahatma Gandhi and he is innocent in this case.
Instead of showing proof of his innocence, Sisodia and his accomplices in AAP are resorting to all sorts of deceptive tricks to mislead the investigating agencies which are probing the liquor scandal and other scams in which Sisodia is allegedly involved.
Surprisingly, Sisodia also said that he is not afraid of going to jail, because he knows that jails provide all types of luxurious facilities to top politicians who are imprisoned for their crime and corruption cases.
Another jailed AAP leader Satyendar Jain – who is a colleague of Sisodia – is enjoying a VIP treatment including full-body massage inside the jail cell. Jain was sent to jail last year for his alleged involvement in a serious money laundering case.
Obviously, Sisodia is not scared of going to jail because jail is a kind of picnic spot for AAP leaders. There is also a possibility that in the night when other prisoners are locked inside their cells, the corrupt politicians are released by corrupt jail officials so that they could enjoy nightlife and come back to jail after a few hours.
In fact, conventional imprisonment is not the right punishment for corrupt politicians and bureaucrats. They should rather be caged in a prison such as the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, which is a U.S. military prison known for its harsh treatment of prisoners.
Earlier, in a tweet written in Hindi, Sisodia had said on February 18 that the CBI had summoned him for questioning. Without any substantiation, he added in his tweet that the law-enforcement agencies failed to find any proof of his wrongdoing and he is being stopped from providing education in schools.
Sisodia – who was an education minister in the Kejriwal government – has been trying to hide behind school education which is so bad in Delhi that the students fail to learn anything in schools that could help them in their careers. Sisodia has destroyed the careers of millions of students as he failed to provide quality education in schools.
In a related development, both Sisodia and Jain who were ministers in the Kejriwal government resigned from their positions on February 28 and Kejriwal has accepted their resignations.
Now, instead of telling the truth about the liquor scam, Sisodia is mischievously diverting the topic to school education although he is the prime accused in the liquor scandal.
As most politicians in AAP are crooks, reports suggest that in order to hoodwink the investigating agencies they are exploiting school children who are being coerced to demonstrate in favour of liquor scam accused Manish Sisodia. These innocent children are being allegedly forced by AAP accomplices to appear in videos to demand the release of Sisodia.
Earlier, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) – which investigates serious financial crime cases – had revealed that 140 mobile phones were changed by over 30 persons allegedly involved in the liquor scam of Delhi.
The ED claimed in a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in November last year that Sisodia and others involved in the excise / liquor scam have changed a total 140 phones with the intention to destroy digital evidence during the relevant period. The value of these phones is estimated to be Rs 1.20 crore.
Sisodia has been telling lies frequently to escape the legal dragnet. After attending a CBI hearing on October 17 last year in this case, Sisodia claimed without any evidence that CBI asked him to quit AAP and join Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which will make him Delhi CM.
Among his lies, Sisodia also said that CBI has admitted that there is no case against him but he is being harassed like his colleague Satyendar Jain, who is in jail for the past many months in a money laundering case.
But in a statement released on October 17, CBI refuted all the claims of Sisodia and said that Sisodia was questioned strictly on the allegations in the FIR (first information report) and the evidence collected so far during the course of investigation. CBI added that Sisodia’s statement will be verified in due course and further action will be taken as per requirements of investigation.
LIQUOR SCAM CASE
After the August 19 raids by the CBI at Sisodia’s residence, he and his AAP accomplices are telling flagrant lies with the aim to protect him in the liquor mafia collusion case.
Sisodia – who was a deputy CM under Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal – is facing serious allegations of corruption, criminal conspiracy, and falsification of government accounts, while the CBI has filed an FIR in which Sisodia’s name is at the top of a list of 15 accused in this case.
In July 2022, the Lt. Governor (LG) Vinai Saxena – who is the administrative head of Delhi – had asked the CBI to probe Sisodia’s surreptitious links with the liquor mafia that led to massive corruption in the sale of liquor shop licences in the city.
An August 22 article in The New Indian Express details different aspects of the case along with the names of the accused who allegedly colluded with Sisodia to run the criminal liquor network involved in an estimated corruption of hundreds of crores of rupees.
Now, instead of answering the media questions related to Delhi liquor scam in which Sisodia is allegedly involved, the AAP members are unsuccessfully trying to divert the case to unrelated issues such as Delhi school education that Sisodia was handling.
In their media interactions on Sisodia’s liquor scam case, the AAP spokespersons had been unnecessarily flaunting a New York Times (NYT) school education article which looks like an advertorial (advertisement or paid article) arranged by AAP’s publicity department. The article without any research falsely praises Sisodia and Delhi school education. But the article never exonerated Sisodia in the liquor mafia scandal.
Now, Sisodia and his accomplice Satyendar Jain should be incarcerated in a harsh detention camp or a concentration camp outside Delhi so that they do not enjoy the luxurious treatment in Delhi’s Tihar jail.
More importantly, all the money (possibly hundreds of crores of rupees) embezzled in the scandals along with heavy interest should be recovered from them and they should not be allowed to work in any public office after the prison sentence.
The AAP politicians should also be interrogated sternly in order to know the names of their accomplices in AAP or external outfits who are involved in the liquor scam or other scandals so that all of them could be similarly convicted and jailed.
If Sisodia or Jain reveal that Kejriwal has been leading this crime enterprise clandestinely, then Kejriwal will abandon them as he ordered to throw out Sisodia’s family from his official residence.
In that case, it is likely that Sisodia and Jain would join hands with BJP to get themselves acquitted illegally.
By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of the humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society.
He has also been publishing The Integrity Bulletin news magazine since 2018 to cover local and international corruption issues to engage with different stakeholders who are trying to combat corruption in the world.
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