Delhi court sends Sisodia to judicial custody till March 20

New Delhi:  A Delhi court on Monday sent Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia to judicial custody till March 20 in the alleged liquor policy scam being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The counsel appearing for the central agency said that at this stage, they are not seeking further CBI remand but in the next 15 days they might seek it.

Special Judge M.K. Nagpal of the Rouse Avenue Courts ordered: “An application to send the accused to judicial custody has been filed. It is submitted that the police custody is no longer required and the same may be sought later, if required. In view of the submission made, the accused is sent to judicial custody till March 20.”

Sisodia had moved an application seeking spectacles, Bhagwad Geeta, a diary and a pen inside the prison, which was also allowed by the court on Monday.

The counsel appearing for the central agency contended that the AAP leaders are politicising the matter and witnesses are “terrified”.

The court had, on March 4, extended Sisodia’s CBI custody for two days and listed his bail plea for March 10 and in the last two days, the CBI questioned him with key witnesses — former excise commissioner Arva Gopi Krishna and former excise department secretary C. Arvind — in this case, who recorded their statements in front of a magistrate.

The CBI counsel said: “We are not seeking custody right now. But we may do so in future. Their supporters and the media are politicising the matter.”

“Witnesses are terrified. Media is giving political colour, ” it added.

Representing Sisodia, Senior Advocate Mohit Mathur showed displeasure over CBI’s argument.

“I am appalled by a submission like this. Are they scared of the media?” he questioned.

However, the court said that the media cannot be stopped from covering the matter and as long as protests, etc are carried out peacefully, the court will not be concerned.

The AAP leader, while addressing the court, had earlier said that the CBI were asking the same questions repeatedly and it is a mental harassment.

“They are not using third degree. But sitting for eight to nine hours and answering the same questions again and again, that too, is mental harassment, ” he told the court.

The court had also directed the CBI to conduct his medical exams at regular intervals.

The agency arrested Sisodia on February 26 after eight hours of questioning.