Manish Sisodia, a former deputy chief minister of Delhi, was also accused by the federal investigation agency of accepting “bribes” from an individual indicted in the case, which they described as “proceeds of crime.” According to the ED’s most recent chargesheet in this money laundering case, the AAP leadership, notably former excise minister Manish Sisodia, implemented the now-scrapped Delhi Excise Policy 2021–22 to “continuously generate and channel illegal funds” to themselves.
The federal investigation agency also accused Sisodia, the former deputy chief minister of Delhi, of accepting “bribes” from a suspect engaged in the case and labelled these as “proceeds of crime” under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). “As elaborated…Amit Arora paid Rs 2.2 crore to Manish Sisodia through Dinesh Arora for getting policy changes in his favour in the GoM report/excise policy 2021-22,” the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said in its prosecution complaint filed early this month.
“This amount is directly a bribe or kickback to a government functionary and is proceeds of crime under section 2(1)(u) of PMLA, 2002. In this manner, Manish Sisodia participated in the generation of the proceeds of crime,” it said. Buddy Retail Pvt Ltd, Popular Spirits, and KSJM Spirits LLP are all alcohol-related businesses that are promoted by Amit Arora, while Dinesh Arora is allegedly a close friend of Sisodia. The 51-year-old was given a production warrant for June 1 by a Delhi court on Tuesday after it took cognizance of the fifth chargesheet, which is the first to include Sisodia as an accused party.
Sisodia was detained in Tihar Jail on March 9 by the ED after the CBI detained him in connection with the same case. Sisodia “acquired this proceeds of crime (of Rs 2.2 crore) and is involved in the concealment of the same,” the chargesheet continued. It said the excise policy was “drafted with an intention to cause undue benefit to certain private entities or players” and was formed with “deliberate loopholes to facilitate illegal and criminal activities”. The ED also charged Sisodia with being involved in the “destruction of digital evidence to impede the investigation and to erase evidence”. It said the AAP leader “used/changed/destroyed 14 mobile phones/IMEIs during the period of scam including the period after registration of the predicate offence (CBI FIR)”.
Only five of the 43 SIM cards used on these 14 mobile phones, according to the agency’s investigation, were either owned by Sisodia in his statements to the ED or were issued in his name. It cited Sisodia’s comments, which were captured during the probe, in which he stated: “the phone which was used before the phone seized by CBI was broken and is not with me now….I do not remember where the damaged phone is now”. “It is amply clear from these facts that the said mobile phone used by Manish Sisodia during the scam period was destroyed and is not available for forensic analysis,” the ED said.