The Delhi high court on Saturday reserved its order on the interim bail plea of former deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia in the money laundering case linked to the alleged excise policy scam and asked the Lok Nayak Jaiprakash Hospital (LNJP) in the city to file a fresh medical report of his wife by Saturday evening.
On Friday, the high court had permitted Sisodia to visit his residence to meet his ailing wife, while reserving its order on his interim and the regular bail applications. It had also asked the Enforcement Directorate, which is probing the case, to submit the medical report of Sisodia’s wife by Saturday.
The ED filed a fresh medical report opposing the interim bail on Saturday and the court said that it would hear fresh arguments. The court was also informed that while Sisodia was taken to his residence to meet his wife on Saturday morning, she was admitted to the LNJP hospital due to her deteriorating health condition. After hearing the arguments, justice Sharma reserved its order and said that it would pass appropriate orders in a day or two.
During the hearing, advocate Zoheb Hossain, for the ED, opposed Sisodia’s interim bail plea and claimed that after the Supreme Court’s judgment on “administrative services” last month, there was unauthorised removal of documents from the office of the special secretary (Vigilance). The agency said that documents continue to be tampered.
The counsel also said that Sisodia’s wife has been suffering from the degenerative disease for over two decades and the six weeks bail will make no difference to her but only to Sisodia.
He also contended that Sisodia was holding 18 portfolios and was busy with his work, hence his mother-in-law is looking after her, adding that the former minister could not have been the sole caretaker of his wife.
“Please see, he held 18 portfolios. It included finance, education, labour, vigilance, PWD, health, power, home, irrigation and flood control. He could not have bene the sole caretaker,” advocate Hossain said.
Hossain said that Sisodia had filed another interim bail plea but it was withdrawn on May 24 and there are judgments that say that such withdrawal amounts to dismissal unless they are able to show that something dramatic has changed.
Appearing for Sisodia, senior advocate Mohit Mathur countered the submissions and said, “Yes, he is the only caretaker. The only son is studying abroad. Would it make a person less of a caretaker if he is holding 18 portfolios? We are busy and dealing with multiple cases throughout the day. But don’t we go back home at the end of the day, and are we not the caretakers of the family?”
The senior counsel further said that a person’s life cannot be so insignificant that her husband cannot meet her even when she is in such a condition.
“What kind of jurisprudence are we heading toward,” he asked.
“Are they still investigating? I am behind bars. This is an argument of prejudice,” Mathur added.