HomeIndiaSisodia involved in 'large-scale destruction of digital evidence': ED

Sisodia involved in ‘large-scale destruction of digital evidence’: ED

He has claimed in a Delhi court that the AAP leader and former deputy prime minister was involved in “wide-scale destruction of digital evidence to impede investigation” in the Delhi excise policy case and had switched and destroyed 14 phones.

In its resubmission request, seeking an extension of Sisodia’s custody, the agency said Friday that the main recommendations that ultimately formed the basis of the Excise Policy 2021-22, including setting a markup for the 12 percent for wholesalers, not decided in the group. of meetings of ministers (GoM) and instead “imported from external sources”.

He (ED) had arrested Sisodia on March 9 at Tihar jail, where he was being held in connection with a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) case on alleged corruption in the formulation and implementation of the now-discarded policy. The CBI had arrested him on February 26.

The ED is investigating money laundering charges against Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader.

The application before Special Judge MK Nagapal, who extended Sisodia’s custody for five days, also stated that the investigation conducted so far indicated that Sisodia is “actually involved in activity related to the acquisition, possession and use of proceeds from the crime” and “therefore guilty of the crime of money laundering”.

In its request, ED had sought a seven-day extension on Sisodia’s custody.

The agency alleged that Sisodia had withheld information that is of his “exclusive knowledge” and “extremely relevant to the investigation.”

Facts that emerged after Sisodia’s custodial questioning included that he was “engaged in the large-scale destruction of digital evidence to impede the investigation and to erase evidence,” the request says.

It alleged that during the one-year period of the liquor scam, Sisodia changed or destroyed 14 phones or IMEIs, of which the CBI was only able to recover one phone and two were produced during ED questioning.

Sisodia changed or destroyed most of these phones since the day of the Delhi Lieutenant Governor (LG)’s complaint to the CBI, which was also reported by the media on July 22 last year, the app claims.

When asked about the reason for exchanging a phone on July 22 last year, Sisodia said the phone was damaged, but he was unable to answer what he had done with the broken or damaged phone, he said.

“This conclusion of mobile phone destruction is based on the fact that these 11 mobile phones or IMEls were not recovered during intensive searches by central investigative agencies or during interrogations,” the ED said.

Sisodia had also used phones purchased in other people’s names to make an excuse that the phones were not purchased by him and belonged to others, the app claimed.

“The large-scale destruction of digital evidence was done intentionally to destroy evidence of their participation in the crime of money laundering by destroying evidence of handling criminal assets, money trails, as well as participation or connection in the process or activities related to proceeds of crime for the commission of the crime of money laundering, “he said.

The request alleged that the “proactive destruction of evidence” led to the sole inference that Sisodia made “knowing efforts to destroy evidence of the money laundering offense.”

Claiming that the fixing of a 12 percent markup for wholesalers was done in collusion with a “southern group,” the petition says that, based on the statements of various excise department officials and other material evidence , the group of ministers (GoM) meetings were found to be “just a sham and there was no discussion or decision-making in these GoM meetings.”

The “southern group” is an alleged liquor cartel that paid bribes worth around Rs 100 crore to the AAP to gain a bigger share of the national capital market under the now-removed 2020-21 policy.

The “southern group”, according to the ED, comprises Sarath Reddy (Aurobindo Pharma promoter), Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy (YSR Congress MP from Ongole in Andhra Pradesh), his son Raghav Magunta, BRS leader K Kavitha and daughter of the chief of Telangana. Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, and others.

“The main recommendations put forward in the GoM report (including setting a 12 percent commission) were not discussed or decided at these so-called GoM meetings. These recommendations, which ultimately formed the basis for the 2021-excise policy 22, were imported from external sources. has not disclosed so far,” the application alleges.

He claimed that, according to officials from the excise department, who were questioned during Sisodia’s custody and also confronted with him, the department was not involved in the decision-making or actual writing of the Mexican government report.

“Changes in the draft GoM report (from 5 percent to 12 percent) that overlap with the stay of members or representatives of the southern group… period during which an impression was taken at the hotel and was delivered by is clear evidence of collusion with South Group to increase wholesalers’ profit margin from 5% to 12%,” the petition states.

It alleged that two days before the GoM presented its report to the council of ministers, certain parts of the final GoM report were found on the mobile phones of members of the “southern group”.

He said that during Sisodia’s interrogation, he confronted several people, and in addition to extracting his mobile phone data, the agency also took his iCloud and email.

The mail dump contained 1.23 lakhs of emails and the same was being analyzed and needed to be confronted with Sisodia, the app said.

He said other “crucial information” was also revealed during Sisodia’s custody and, in view of the findings, the DE had summoned four people to confront the AAP leader with former excise commissioner Rahul Singh, C Aravind, the then secretary to the underboss. minister, Amit Arora and Dinesh Arora. Former excise commissioner Rahul Singh is not a defendant in the case.

Previously, the current court had sent Sisodia to a week of Emergency Department custody on March 10.

(Only the headline and image in this report may have been modified by Business Standard staff; all other content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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