Excise policy case: Court extends judicial custody of Manish Sisodia, allows weekly visit to ailing wife

New Delhi : A Delhi court on Monday extended former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s judicial custody till February 22, but permitted him to visit his ailing wife once a week during the period

Special judge M.K. Nagpal, of the Rouse Avenue Courts, who is overseeing the Delhi excise policy case, directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to submit a detailed status report on the case by the next date of hearing, expressing concerns over incomplete disclosure about the probe’s status.

The central agency also filed a report stating that the investigation is ongoing and at a crucial stage, with completion regarding the 16 charge sheeted accused persons.

However, the defence counsel objected, citing incomplete status reports and the need for time to scrutinise translated documents received recently.

The court, recognising the complexity of the case, directed the CBI to install necessary software in the laptops of defence counsel for efficient access to the voluminous case files.

The alleged excise policy scam is being probed by both the enforcement agencies – the Enforcement Directorate and CBI.

On Monday, judge Nagpal adjourned Sisodia’s bail application in cases by both the agencies.

Sisodia had asked for custody parole for twice-weekly visits to his ailing wife. However, the court granted a weekly visit and adjourned the bail application.

Recently, the same court had asked for a fresh status report from the CBI in the case. The judge had also closed the opportunity for accused persons to inspect documents at the CBI office, stating sufficient time had been given.

The court had directed that the matter should now be listed for arguments to frame charges.

As counsel for Sisodia had mentioned that the CBI had not concluded its investigation, the court had called for a fresh status report to facilitate the commencement of arguments on charges. A compliance report had indicated the supply of DVDs containing charge sheets and relied-upon documents to the accused’s counsel.

The court had also refused to direct the CBI to provide seized documents during a search at Sisodia’s residence and office, saying that the legality would be considered during the trial. It had also expressed dissatisfaction with the jail authorities for not informing about Sisodia’s video conferencing appearance.

Earlier, on December 22, 2023, the court had directed the CBI to facilitate document inspection at its headquarters, allowing counsel time until January 15, and subsequently, the CBI was to file a compliance report.