The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to entertain Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia’s plea challenging his arrest by CBI in the liquor policy case and asked him to approach the High Court for alternative remedies. A bench comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha said Sisodia had alternative remedies available before the High Court and asked him to pursue them instead of directly invoking the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
“What will happen is we will asked to be interfere in every such case.. we cannot intervene in this,” CJI Chandrachud said. “Just because an incident happens in Delhi does not mean this case will come to the Supreme Court,” said Justice Narasimha.
The AAP said it would now move the Delhi High Court for relief, ANI reported.
Appearing for Sisodia, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi said no money was recorded from Sisodia during CBI searches and he was not named in the chargesheet.
“Your lordships may consider that he is not in the chargesheet. I hold 18 portfolios. No money is recovered. No pecuniary advantage,” Singhvi said, as per a Live Law report.
READ | Delhi Excise Scam: Court Sends Dy CM Manish Sisodia To 5-Day CBI Custody, AAP Stages Protests
Singhvi said remand was not at all warranted in this case as the offence was punishable with less than seven years imprisonment and there was no flight risk as Sisodia had complied with all summons.
“How can you arrest when he has appeared on all occasions? Where is the flight risk,” he asked.
“You are challenging an FIR, challenging remand, seeking bail, all under Article 32. You have remedies before the High Court under Section 482 CrPC,” CJI Chandrachud said.
Sisodia was arrested by the CBI in connection with alleged corruption in the now-withdrawn liquor policy. CBI officials said that the arrest was made after the Deputy CM didn’t cooperate in the investigation and avoided clarifications sought by them.
He is the second Delhi minister to be arrested since Satyendar Jain.
A special Delhi court on Monday sent Sisodia to five-day CBI remand. The investigation agency claimed that the policy had irregularities both in its formulation and implementation and allegedly intended to benefit people having ties to the AAP.
On Monday, AAP workers and supporters also took to the streets in Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Bhopal, Kolkata and several other cities to protest against Sisodia’s arrest by the CBI. In the national capital, chaotic scenes were witnessed near the BJP headquarters as police detained several of the protesters.
The CBI has alleged that the Delhi government’s excise policy for 2021-22 to grant licences to liquor traders favoured certain dealers who had allegedly paid bribes for it, an accusation strongly refuted by the AAP. The policy was later scrapped.