In a big setback for Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the CBI has arrested Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia in connection with alleged corruption in the now-withdrawn liquor policy. However, according to legal experts, if a policy has been wrong and withdrawn, then it cannot be a matter of attaching criminality to the issue.
Queried on Sisodia’s arrest on now-withdrawn liquor policy of Delhi, senior advocate Sidharth Luthra said this is what happened in the 2G spectrum scam and the CBI was not successful there and a policy made cannot become a mechanism for arrest. He added that apparently the investigative agency follows a separate mechanism in corruption in a pure policy matter.
Senior advocate Vikas Singh said the allegation against Sisodia appears to be for personal benefit, as per what is there in the public domain. He added that wrong policy of the government or loss to the exchequer cannot become a criminal matter, unless the policy actuated personal gain.
Sisodia was questioned by the central agency since morning and the arrest came after over nine hours.
Sisodia and others face corruption allegations in connection with a new liquor sale policy in the national capital and the CBI has named seven accused in the liquor policy case charge sheet, which has no mention of Sisodia.
According to a CBI source, the agency will present Sisodia at the Rouse Avenue Courts on Monday and seek two weeks’ custodial remand as it needs to confront him with the co-accused, as well as documentary and digital evidence.
The CBI had alleged that liquor companies were involved in framing of the 2021 liquor policy in exchange for kickbacks and the policy led to a 12 per cent profit for them, of which 6 per cent was routed to public servants through middlemen like a Hyderabad-based businessman.