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Bail to Sanjay Singh won’t adversely impact probe: ED | Latest News Delhi

Bail to Sanjay Singh won’t adversely impact probe: ED | Latest News Delhi

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Sanjay Singh’s release from Tihar jail after being granted bail by the Supreme Court will not adversely impact the agency’s case during the trial, officers in the Enforcement Directorate (ED) claimed on Tuesday, explaining the rationale behind not opposing his bail on Tuesday.

Sanjay Singh’s wife Anita (second from left) on Tuesday. (Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)

The circumstances surrounding Rajya Sabha MP Singh were different from those related to the other top leaders arrested in the case — Arvind Kejriwal, who was the head of government when the 2021-22 excise policy was created, and Manish Sisodia, who was the excise minister — the officers added.

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Since the agency felt Singh is “not a flight risk” a “last minute decision” was taken to not oppose his bail, these officers said on the condition of anonymity.

To be sure, the decision was taken after the top court pointed out that no money was recovered from Singh, and wanted answers from ED on the alleged proceeds of crime. The granting of bail has been hailed by the AAP as a “moral and legal victory”, and one that will unravel a case that the party claims is false.

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On December 2 last year, the federal anti-money laundering probe agency claimed in a charge sheet that Singh received kickbacks worth 2 crore (in two installments of 1 crore each) through his aide Sarvesh Mishra, who was also named in the charge sheet. The allegations were made on the basis on a statement by Dinesh Arora, an accused who later turned approved.

“We had been opposing Sanjay Singh’s bail till now as he received 2 crore bribes in the excise policy. It is true that the money has not been recovered [from him] but that doesn’t mean he is not involved,” said one of the officers cited above.

Asserting that severity of offence differs in charges against Singh when compared to Kejriwal and Sisodia, this officer said: “Since Singh was not directly involved in the policy formulation and implementation and was not part of the Delhi government, we feel it will not impact our case at the trial stage.”

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A second officer said that the decision to not oppose the bail was taken at the last minute. “We felt that Singh is not a flight risk, and since he is not part of Delhi government, there are no chances of him influencing the witnesses unlike Kejriwal or Sisodia, who were directly involved in the policy,” the second officer said.

In a statement on Tuesday, the AAP said the ED was lying. “Supreme Court said no money trail was found, no money was found. ED could not provide even a single evidence in the Supreme Court. The ED is working at the behest of the BJP which wants to topple the Delhi government at any cost. The BJP wants to stop Kejriwal from campaigning in the Lok Sabha elections,” the AAP said.

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ED officials said that their investigation in the excise policy probe has been upheld by courts while rejecting the bail of several other accused persons on multiple occasions.

“We are confident that evidence we have gathered against all the accused in the case will stand scrutiny of the court,” said the first officer.

On whether it will continue opposing Kejriwal and Sisodia’s bail in courts, the second officer said: “Yes. They are directly involved. Kejriwal being the CM was in the know of things, as was the minister Manish Sisodia.”

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