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Delhi HC Reserves Order On AAP MP Sanjay Singh’s Plea Against His Arrest, Remand

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The Delhi High Court on Thursday reserved its order on a plea moved by Aam Aadmi Party leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh challenging his remand and arrest in the liquor ‘scam’ case.

The bench of Justice Swarna Kanta Sharma reserved the order after hearing both sides at length in the matter.

Appearing for ED, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) SV Raju submitted that Singh has been arrested in the interest of investigation after following the due process of law. “During investigation it’s is revealed that Sanjay Singh is also a part of conspiracy of the Delhi Liquor Scam and is closely related to Dinesh Arora and Amit Arora. He has been part of collecting kick back and has received proceeds of crime to the tune of 2 crore,” the ED’s counsel submitted.

“Trial court which passed the order has perused the case paper that reasons have been recorded in writing and thus it is compliance of section 19. Facts stated no where shows that his arrest is unwarranted or unreasonable. Even his contention regarding remand application mechanically without considering are all wrong and misleading. General submissions are made off the cuff. The remand is not mechanical and there is total application of mind,” he said.

Appearing for Sanjay Singh, Senior Advocate Vikram Chaudhari earlier argued that the action of arresting a reputed person of the country has taken place without following procedures. More than one year, untill now, I was never called by the Enforcement Directorate, lawyer said.

“Suddenly on October 4, they come to my house, carry out search, take my mobile phone, some papers and later in the evening arrested me. Dinesh Arora gives diffrent answers to the same question, he eventually starts speaking what the agency wants him to say,” Singh’s lawyer argued.

The trial Court last week had sent Sanjay Singh Judicial Custody till October 27, 2023.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) recently arrested Sanjay Singh after a day-long questioning by the ED officials at his Delhi residence.

Sanjay Singh’s party colleague and former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia of Delhi was also arrested in the same liquor policy scam case in March month this year.

ED claimed that Singh and his associates played a part in the Delhi government’s decision to give licenses to alcohol shops and merchants in 2020, causing losses to the state exchequer and violating anti-corruption laws.

ED has previously searched a number of locations including the homes and offices of Sanjay Singh’s close associate Ajit Tyagi and other contractors and businessmen who allegedly benefited from the policy. In its nearly 270-page supplementary charge sheet, the ED has called Sisodia a key conspirator in the case.

The Delhi liquor scam case or the excise policy case pertains to allegations that the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government’s excise policy for 2021-22 allowed cartelisation and favoured certain dealers who had allegedly paid bribes for it, a charge that has been strongly refuted by the AAP.

ED, last year filed its first chargesheet in the case. The agency said it has so far undertaken over 200 search operations in this case after filing an FIR after taking cognisance of a CBI case which was registered on the recommendation of the Delhi lieutenant governor.

The CBI inquiry was recommended on the findings of the Delhi chief secretary’s report filed in July showing prima facie violations of the GNCTD Act 1991, Transaction of Business Rules (ToBR)-1993, Delhi Excise Act-2009, and Delhi Excise Rules-2010.

The ED and the CBI had alleged that irregularities were committed while modifying the Excise Policy, undue favours were extended to licence holders, the licence fee was waived or reduced and the L-1 licence was extended without the competent authority’s approval. The beneficiaries diverted “illegal” gains to the accused officials and made false entries in their books of account to evade detection.

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