New Delhi, May 26
In the Delhi excise policy scam case, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has claimed in its charge sheet that former Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia intentionally replaced an entire cabinet draft note containing crucial legal opinions from two former Chief Justices of India — Ranjan Gogoi and KG Balakrishnan — as well as Mukul Rohtagi, a senior advocate and former Attorney General of India, with a new one, according to sources.
The sources said that the old draft cabinet note was causing hindrance in pursuing Sisodia’s ulterior motives including providing assistance to the South Group, and hence it was allegedly destroyed.
The sources said that the new draft policy was favouring the agenda of the South Group and Sisodia. While probing the matter, the ED learned that the file presented before them by the Excise Department did not have any old legal opinion.
The sources said that a crucial note containing legal opinion was allegedly removed from the file. When the ED further probed the matter, they learned that excise official Gaurav Mann gave the unsigned old draft copy to Sisodia’s staff in January 2021.
When questioned by the ED, Mann revealed that he wasn’t given back the draft note.
The ED has called it a conspiracy hatched by Sisodia, alleging that the accused did everything possible to ensure that the old cabinet note containing legal opinion could not be brought on record.
The ED traced the file back and discovered that the file of the old cabinet note was lastly given to Sisodia by DANIC official Pravesh Jha, after which it went missing The file was allegedly given to Sisodia on January 28, 2021.
However, when the ED grilled Sisodia regarding this, he denied receiving any note. The ED has alleged that the file was destroyed by Sisodia.
“Sisodia also created a legal facade by creating whatsApp account using his PA Devender Sharma’s phone number. And he has destroyed the old note,” said the source.
The ED case is based on the CBI’s FIR (First Information Report). So far, the ED has filed four charge sheets in the case, one main charge sheet and three supplementary charge sheets.