Bharat Express

Supreme Court Rules Against Prolonged Pre-Trial Detention in Liquor Policy Case

“You can’t keep people behind bars, before a trial, for long (periods of time),” the top court remarked sharply in giving bail to Benoy Babu, the Regional General Manager. This is inappropriate.

In relation to the Delhi liquor policy scandal, the Supreme Court on Friday granted bail to a top executive of Pernod Ricard India, a division of one of the biggest beverage companies globally. The court made the following observation when granting bail to Benoy Babu, the Regional General Manager: “People cannot be detained for extended periods of time prior to trial. This is inappropriate.

“We’re still not sure how this will turn out. Judge Sanjiv Khanna noted that there seems to be a discrepancy between the allegations made by the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation.

The panel, which also included Justice SVN Bhatti, granted Mr. Babu bail based on the factual circumstances presented in his plea and the fact that he had previously served 13 months in jail.

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A major political dispute has broken out between the opposition, mainly the Aam Aadmi Party, which rules Delhi, and the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party due to the multiple arrests in this case. Manish Sisodia, the former deputy chief minister of Delhi, and two other top AAP members were also taken into custody.

Since February, Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh has been incarcerated, as has Mr. Sisodia.

The Supreme Court denied Manish Sisodia bail on October 30. The accusations against him, according to the report, are “tentatively” supported by evidence. They allege that he helped wholesale liquor dealers receive “windfall gains” of ₹ 338 crore. Last Monday, Mr. Sisodia filed a motion asking the court to revisit its decision.

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The CBI initially detained Mr. Sisodia on February 26. Two weeks later, on March 9, he was taken into custody by the Enforcement Directorate following a protracted interrogation at Delhi’s Tihar Jail.

On November 17, 2021, the Delhi government altered its liquor excise policy; however, because to extensive accusations of corruption, it was abandoned less than a year later. The profit margins of wholesalers were allegedly unfairly raised from 5% to 12%, according to investigating agencies.

Additionally, they claim that the new approach led to cartelization and that people who weren’t qualified for liquor licenses were given financial advantages. Manish Sisodia and the Delhi administration, meanwhile, have denied any wrongdoing and asserted that the new policy would have increased income.