Sat. Feb 24th, 2024

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) said in the Supreme Court on Monday that they are contemplating making the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) an accused in the Delhi excise policy cases.

Additional Solicitor General SV Raju representing the CBI and the ED, made the submission before the bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and SVN Bhatti.

Raju said that he has instructions to state that the agencies are considering making AAP an accused, invoking legal provisions on “vicarious liability” and section 70 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The Supreme Court bench asked the additional solicitor general to clarify his stand on Tuesday on whether there will be separate charge against the AAP in cases being probed by the CBI and the ED.

Raju made the statement while arguing against bail to AAP leader and former Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, who was arrested in the excise policy cases being probed by the two agencies.

Both the CBI and the ED have often suggested that AAP was a beneficiary of the kickbacks received from stakeholders who got liquor licences as part of a quid pro quo.

They have alleged that the AAP used the money for campaigning in the Goa assembly elections.

On October 6, the Supreme Court had asked the ED how an offence could be made against Sisodia if there was no apparent money trail connecting him directly with a lobby that allegedly paid kickbacks to receive benefits under the excise policy.

While hearing the Sisodia’s bail plea, the apex court had observed that there were procedural and factual flaws in the ED case against him under the PMLA.

The SC bench had said that most of the allegations in the corruption case registered by the CBI against Sisodia were “hearsay”, based on the statements made by approvers and would not pass scrutiny before the trial court without any concrete material. 

(With inputs from PTI)

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Updated: 16 Oct 2023, 07:10 PM IST

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