Excise case: Court directs to produce Sisodia physically for hearing

The court has further directed that no public persons or AAP supporters be allowed in the courtroom.

New Delhi: Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court on Thursday directed Delhi police to produce former Deputy CM Manish Sisodia physically from the next date of hearing in an alleged excise policy case.

Special judge M K Nagpal passed the direction while disposing of the application of Delhi police seeking production of Manish Sisodia through video conferencing for hearing.

Delhi police had stated the security concern in producing him physically in the courtroom.

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“Now accused Manish Sisodia will be produced physically before the court,” the judge ordered, directing that no public persons or Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supporters be allowed in the courtroom.

Media persons are also directed to maintain a safe distance from the accused, the court said.
In case of any violations of this direction lock-up in charge shall bring it to the notice of the court, the judge directed.

During the CBI case hearing was produced through video conferencing. Sisodia also told the court that he has no issue with video conferencing but he wished to be produced physically.

The court asked the counsel appearing for Sisodia, “What is the difficulty for police to produce Sisodia physically in the court.”

Court asked who will be responsible if any untoward incident happens, the Judge asked.

Advocate Vivek Jain, Counsel for Sisodia said, “It is the duty of the police to protect him. There is only a distance of ten meters and 25 police personnel are there. He has been brought from a distance of 15 kilometers.

What is the security concern in producing him physically in the courtroom.”
“What prejudice is being caused if he is produced through video conferencing?” the court added.
Video conferencing is as good as physical production, the judge added.

After hearing the submission of the counsel and interacting with Sisodia the judges, “I will not allow the meeting with party workers in the courtroom. From the next date you will be produced physically in the courtroom.”

Manish Sisodia is to be produced physically in the court from the next date, the judge ordered.
Delhi police had moved an application seeking production of Manish Sisodia through video conferencing stating security concerns.

The court noted that an application was moved citing some incidents of first June 2023 when the production of the said accused in ED case, some allegations of mand handling of accused by security personnel were raised.

On that day some supporters and media persons were present there. Police said that they tried to be too close to the accused, the court noted.

Counsel for Sisodia said that he has a right to be produced physically for an effective hearing. The rights of the accused to be produced in court should not be curtailed.

This case has been fixed for July 31.
The Court also directed CBI to supply copies of the main charge sheet to the accused who are named in the supplementary charge sheet and copies of the supplementary charge sheet along with documents to the accused who were named in the main charge sheet and have not received the same.

The court also directed the agency to supply copies of legible documents to the accused.
On the Court on May 27 took cognizance of the supplementary charge sheet filed against former Deputy CM Manish Sisodia and 3 others in the Delhi Excise policy case.

It is alleged that Manish Sisodia formulated and implemented the excise policy in a way to facilitate monopolisation and cartelization of the liquor trade in Delhi.

This supplementary charge sheet was filed on April 25 in connection with the Delhi liquor policy alleged scam case.

This supplementary charge sheet has been filed under sections of the Prevention of Corruption (POC) Act and criminal conspiracy, cheating and Disappearance of evidence under IPC.

Manish Sisodia was arrested in this case on February 26 by the CBI.
While filing the chargesheet CBI informed the court that sanction under Section 19 of PC Act to prosecute Manish Sisodia has been taken and is enclosed with the supplementary chargesheet.

CBI had stated that then excise Commissioner Arava Gopi Krishna’s name is also mentioned in the chargesheet in column 12 as a suspect in the chargesheet.

This chargesheet is accompanied by a list of witnesses as well as documents and articles.
Further, this chargesheet is accompanied by a DVD containing the chargesheet as well as statements of witnesses and RUD. One hash value certificate with respect to the DVD is also filed on record with the supplementary chargesheet.

The CBI case is related to alleged irregularities in the framing and implementation of the excise policy of the National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD).

The main charge sheet has already been filed by the CBI.

It is claimed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) that former deputy CM Manish Sisodia that he admitted to destroying two phones which he was using before July 2022.

The two handsets which were used prior to 22.07.22 have been admittedly destroyed by accused Manish Sisodia as confirmed by him in his response to Notice under section 91 CrPC”, the agency has alleged.

The CBI had said that the investigation has revealed that during the period from January 1, 2020, to August 19 in 1022, the accused Manish Sisodia used three mobile handsets.

The last handset which was used by him was seized during the searches in the case.

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