The Delhi High Court on Saturday sought a report from the LNJP hospital on the health condition of AAP leader Manish Sisodia’s ailing wife as it reserved its order on his interim bail plea for six weeks in a money laundering case arising from the alleged excise policy scam.
Senior advocate Mohit Mathur, appearing for Mr Sisodia, told Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma that pursuant to the court’s directions passed on Friday, the former Delhi deputy chief minister was taken in custody to meet his wife earlier in the day but the latter’s health condition deteriorated and was taken to be LNJP hospital before he could reach home.
Mr Mathur thus urged the court to release Mr Sisodia, his sick wife’s sole caretaker, on a temporary basis.
“Arguments heard. Order reserved. Let a report be called from LNJP and be filed by today evening,” said Justice Sharma after a hearing held on a court holiday.
On Friday, the judge had directed the Tihar Jail Superintendent to take Mr Sisodia to his residence where he was allowed to meet his ailing wife from 10 AM to 5 PM and listed the interim bail plea for consideration on June 3 after seeking a report from Enforcement Directorate (ED).
During the hearing, ED lawyer Zoheb Hossain opposed the plea for interim bail on grounds of possibility of evidence tampering.
He informed that an FIR has already been registered over “unauthorised removal” of certain documents from the special secretary vigilance’s room.
“In the intervening night of the Supreme Court judgement on the services issue, there was unauthorised removal of several documents from the special secretary vigilance’s room and including documents relating to the excise scam. This FIR has been registered. There is material which demonstrates that documents and evidence that are available probably with the department continue to be tampered with,” Hossain said.
Mr Mathur said ED was making an “argument of prejudice”.
Mr Hossain also said Mr Sisodia’s wife has been suffering from such medical condition for the last 20 years and even the earlier pleas for interim bail on identical grounds were withdrawn by the former minister.
The agency’s counsel further said Mr Sisodia held 18 portfolios as a minister and he could not have been the sole caretaker of his wife under such circumstances.
He also stated that the stringent conditions against grant of bail in money laundering cases should be kept in mind even while considering the issue of bail on humanitarian grounds.
Mathur, however, objected to the submission and questioned if a person is not entitled to take care of his spouse who is suffering.
Mr Sisodia, who was arrested on March 9, is currently in judicial custody in the case lodged by ED.
The Delhi government implemented the policy on November 17, 2021 but scrapped it at the end of September 2022 amid allegations of corruption.
On May 30, the court had dismissed the bail plea of Mr Sisodia in the excise policy scam being probed by the CBI, saying he is an influential person and the allegations against him are very serious in nature.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)