New Delhi, Jun 9 (IANS): A Delhi court on Friday rejected the bail pleas of businessman Amandeep Singh Dhal in cases related to the Delhi excise policy.
Special Judge M. K. Nagpal of Rouse Avenue Courts stated that there is prima facie evidence indicating serious allegations against Dhal, an executive director of Brindco Sales Private Ltd, and therefore, he is not entitled to bail, even in this scheduled offences case of the CBI.
The ED arrested Dhal under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in the excise case and said that he, along with others, allegedly conspired and played an active role in formulating policy and facilitating kickbacks to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and its recovery by the South Group through various means.
"It is observed that the role played by this applicant in commission of the alleged offence of money laundering is even (more) grave or serious than the role played by some other co-accused.
"... and further, some allegations of tampering of evidence, influencing of the witnesses and falsification of accounts and records have also been made against him, which are also required to be taken into consideration, along with the other material, for considering the question of grant of bail to him," the judge added.
Dhal was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on March 1 and later by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in April.
In the corruption case being probed by the CBI, the allegations against the accused were serious, according to the court.
"While considering the evidence on the face of it and without minutely testing its credibility or trustworthiness, it, prima facie, leads this court to form an opinion that the allegations made by prosecution against the applicant are serious in nature and he is not entitled to be released on bail even in this scheduled offences case of CBI," the judge said.
The court rejected Dhal's argument that he should be granted bail based on the principle of parity with other accused individuals, including Sameer Mahendru, who was not even arrested by the CBI in the case.
It stated that while Mahendru's role may be serious and as grave as that of Dhal, the mere fact that the investigating agency did not arrest Mahandru cannot be the basis for granting bail to Dhal.
The evidence on record indicates a significant role played by Dhal in the commission of the alleged offences, leading to the dismissal of his bail application in the corruption case, it added.
The judge also highlighted that even Manish Sisodia, the former Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi and a co-accused in the case, has been arrested.
Sisodia's bail applications were previously dismissed by both the court and the Delhi High Court.
Both the ED and the CBI have alleged irregularities in the modification of the excise policy, including favoritism towards license holders, waiving or reducing license fees, and extending the L-1 license without proper approval.
The beneficiaries of these actions allegedly diverted illegal gains to the accused officials and falsified their accounting records to avoid detection.