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Supreme Court judge recuses himself from hearing Manish Sisodia’s bail plea

Special Judge Kaveri Baweja denied bail to Manish Sisodia on April 30 (file)

New Delhi:

Supreme Court Justice Sanjay Kumar on Thursday recused himself from hearing the bail plea filed by senior AAP leader Manish Sisodia in connection with the alleged liquor policy scam.

At the outset, Justice Sanjiv Khanna, heading a three-judge bench, informed senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing former Delhi deputy chief minister Sisodia, about Justice Kumar’s recuse.

“Dr Singhvi, my brother Justice Kumar will not be willing to hear this case due to personal reasons,” Justice Khanna said.

Ultimately, the case was listed for hearing in the week beginning July 15 by another bench following directions from the Chief Justice of India (CJI), who is the presiding judge.

Senior AAP leader Manish Sisodia’s lawyer on Monday approached CJI DY Chandrachud seeking urgent filing of his bail plea.

He said the top court had granted the senior AAP leader leave to file a fresh special leave petition challenging the denial of bail.

Last month, the Supreme Court had rejected the former deputy chief minister’s bail plea in a corruption and money laundering case after Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta, the Centre’s second-ranking law officer, gave an undertaking that the final chargesheet/complaint in the liquor policy case would be filed by July 3.

Earlier, the Delhi High Court had denied bail to the senior AAP leader, saying he had failed the triple test required for getting bail in a corruption case and the two conditions required under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002.

However, Supreme Court Justice Swaran Kanta Sharma clarified that the man can continue to meet his sick wife on a weekly basis, on the same conditions as earlier fixed by the trial court.

In March, the Supreme Court dismissed a writ petition filed by Manish Sisodia against the dismissal of his review pleas against the 2023 verdict denying him bail in connection with the liquor policy case.

In a verdict delivered on October 30, 2023, the apex court denied bail to Manish Sisodia but said if the trial progresses slowly in the next three months, he can apply for bail again.

Special Judge Kaveri Baweja of Rouse Avenue Court on April 30 denied bail to Manish Sisodia, who was seeking regular bail for the second time. While deciding to deny bail, the trial court noted that the delay in the proceedings in the case was largely due to the actions of Manish Sisodia himself, who dismissed his claims of unjustified delay.

Meanwhile, a Delhi court last week extended the judicial custody of Manish Sisodia till July 15 in the excise policy case being handled by the Education Department.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)