The Enforcement Directorate (ED) informed Delhi’s Rouse Avenue District Court on Saturday that it has no intention of shifting Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh to the lockup of Tughlak Road Police Station since the pest control work in the ED office’s lockup is completed.
Special judge Vikas Dhull, after noting the submission of ED, disposed of the application of Sanjay Singh as infructuous.
“In light of submissions made by Ld. Special Counsel for ED, the application filed by applicant/accused has become infructuous and stands disposed of accordingly,” the court ordered.
An application was moved on behalf of Sanjay Singh saying that the Enforcement Directorate officials tried to shift from the premises of ED to Police Station Tughlak Road on purported grounds where he could be tortured.
Sanjay Singh through his legal counsels Dr. Farrukh Khan and Prakash Priyadarshi raised the issue of his safety and security.
The petition stated that when Mr Singh asked for the reason for shifting, he was told that the purported reason for shifting was the use of pesticides in the lockup of ED headquarters.
Mr Singh further claimed that it’s beyond comprehension that a premier agency has only one lockup. He said that even if pesticide was used in the lockup then he should have been shifted to another lockup in the ED HQ. When he resisted the attempt, he was made to sleep outside the lockup and subjected to inhuman treatment, the petition stated.
A short notice was issued to ED on the application.
During arguments on the application, ED’s Special Counsel submitted that the agency has no intention of shifting the applicant/accused to the lockup at PS Tuglak Road since work of pesticide control at the lockup in the ED office stands completed.
It was also submitted that pest control measures were taken in lockup at the ED’s office, which was planned on 03.10.2023 i.e. prior to sending of the present applicant/accused in ED custody on 05.10.2023.
It was further submitted that since the applicant/accused had refused to be shifted to the other place due to pesticide treatment in the lockup room, therefore his consent was taken in writing for keeping him in an interrogation room at the ED office.
On Thursday, the court had sent Sanjay Singh to remand till October 10, 2023, in connection with the Delhi excise policy case.
The ED on Wednesday evening arrested Sanjay Singh after a day-long questioning by the ED officials at his Delhi residence.
Allegedly, Sanjay Singh’s party colleague and former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia is also involved in the same liquor policy scam. He is currently lodged in jail in connection with the same. The former Delhi Deputy chief minister and excise minister was first arrested by the CBI on February 26 for his alleged role in the scam.
The federal agency on Wednesday morning raided the residence of Sanjay Singh in connection with the Delhi excise policy case.
The development followed closely on the heels of the ED’s raid on the premises belonging to two of Sanjay Singh’s close aides in the same context.
The case connects with claims that Mr Singh and his partners 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 chargesheet, the ED has called Mr Sisodia a key conspirator in the case.
The Delhi liquor scam 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 has so far filed five chargesheets in the case, including against Mr Sisodia.
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 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, officials had said.
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.
As per the allegations, the Excise Department had decided to refund the Earnest Money Deposit of about Rs 30 crore to a successful tenderer against the set rules. Even though there was no enabling provision, a waiver on tendered licence fees was allowed from December 28, 2021, to January 27, 2022, due to COVID-19.
This allegedly caused a loss of Rs 144.36 crore to the exchequer, which has been instituted on a reference from the Union Home Ministry following a recommendation from Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)