Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia today challenged his arrest by the CBI in the Supreme Court. Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, after hearing Mr Sisodia’s lawyer Abhishek Singhvi, asked why they did not go to the high court instead before coming to the Supreme Court directly.
Mr Singhvi cited the Supreme Court’s judgment in the Vinod Dua case as the reason why Mr Sisodia has approached the Supreme Court. After this, Chief Justice Chandrachud said they will hear the matter at 3:50 pm.
The Supreme Court in June 2021 cancelled a sedition case against journalist Vinod Dua over his criticism of the centre’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr Dua had come to the Supreme Court directly.
A Delhi court yesterday sent Mr Sisodia to five-day custody of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the Delhi liquor policy case. The central agency told the city court it needs time to question him over alleged corruption in making the new liquor policy, which was scrapped after Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena flagged it.
Mr Sisodia’s challenge is likely to be mentioned before Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud for an urgent hearing today.
Yesterday, the CBI told the Delhi court that Mr Sisodia has been giving evasive replies to their questions and is unable to explain at least six problematic provisions in the liquor policy that were not part of the first draft.
The CBI said the changes were made at the behest of a liquor lobby in exchange for kickbacks to the tune of ₹ 30 crore.
The CBI has said it is focusing on the alleged influence of a “South Lobby” of businessmen and politicians in making the liquor policy to swing in their favour using middlemen, traders and bureaucrats.