AAP Senior Leader and Rajya Sabha MP Shri Raghav Chadha on Friday criticised the BJP for misusing central agencies to keep Shri Manish Sisodia in jail. He urged the saffron party to stop indulging in ‘Badle Ki Rajneeti’ and try to move towards ‘Badlaav ki Rajneeti’. He further said that all of this was being done by the BJP as it fears the Shri Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party. He also asserted that the Bharatiya Janata Party seems to have just one ambition in the current political landscape and that is to do whatever it takes to “finish off” the Aam Aadmi Party.
The Senior AAP leader said that the CBI and ED, despite months of investigation, do not seem to have even an iota of evidence against Shri Manish Sisodia. There is no merit in the case and nor is there any evidence or trail that has been established by the agencies so far. He explained that for a case to be taken to the court, there are some key elements required such as a strong case, strong evidence, witnesses in the case and recovery of some proceeds of the crime. However, in this case against Shri Manish Sisodia, the investigative agencies seem to have none of this, he added.
He pointed out that just when Shri Manish Sisodia’s CBI custody was to lapse and yet no evidence was gathered by the CBI, the ED was suddenly brought forward by the Central Government and a further 7-day custody of Shri Manish Sisodia was given to the Enforcement Directorate. He said that the ED had wanted a 10-day custody of Shri Manish Sisodia and to validate their argument they said that there was a trail of evidence and some very serious questions had to be asked to the senior AAP leader, and that he also had to be questioned along with other witnesses in the case. The court eventually listened to their plea and decided to give a 7-day custody to the ED.
He further made some key revelations on the issue and said that over the last seven days, the ED has in total questioned Shri Manish Sisodia for merely 15 hours. Providing more details he said that this equates to only a little above two hours of questioning a day, and said that this questioning was done in the afternoon over a cup of tea. “They would begin the questioning only in the afternoon, and while sipping their cup of tea ask Shri Manish Sisodia 4-7 questions repeatedly and then wrap up their questioning session,” he said.
Shri Raghav Chadha revealed that another reason stated by the ED to get the custody of Shri Manish Sisodia was that they needed to confront him against other witnesses in the matter and ask some serious questions. The agencies provided a long list of other accused with whom the agencies wanted to confront the AAP leader. But in reality, in a week, they only confronted him against three other witnesses in the case and this was also for a mere formality, as no direct question related to the investigation was asked by the ED.
The AAP Rajya Sabha MP said that these tactics of the investigative agencies make it clear that the aim of the investigation is not to find any evidence against Shri Manish Sisodia as they know that there is nothing to find. But the intention behind this case is only to keep the senior AAP leader in jail endlessly on the pretext of one investigation after another. He added that the court cannot deny the right to an investigative agency to carry out its investigation and therefore the agencies want to keep Shri Manish Sisodia in jail without any charges for as long as they possibly can.
Shri Raghav Chadha revealed another key loophole in this case and said that just when the CBI custody of Shri Manish Sisodia was to end, the ED came forward and arrested him. Everyone thought that the ED had some new evidence in the matter to arrest the AAP leader. But in its seven-day custody, it has not asked even one new question to Shri Manish Sisodia. It has only repeated the same baseless questions that the CBI had been asking him for over a week. He pointed out that all of this once again points to the same conclusion in the case – the point is to endlessly keep Shri Manish Sisodia in jail even without any charges being established. The agencies do not even seem to be interested in finding any evidence to substantiate their charges anymore, as they are able to keep an accused in jail on the basis of lies, he added.
Revealing certain details of the proceedings in court today, he said that the misuse of the investigative agencies by the Centre has become comical under this current regime. He pointed out that the ED today informed the court that it needed to once again confront Shri Manish Sisodia with the same three witnesses and therefore asked for an extended custody. He further added that the present BJP government seems to be undergoing some sort of a mental issue and therefore they have resorted to ‘Badle Ki Rajneeti’ and are arresting AAP leaders under false charges and putting them in jail with the intention to crush the party.
Shri Raghav Chadha looked at the history of the ED from 2014 to 2022 and said that since the BJP-led Central Government came to power over eight years ago, the Enforcement Directorate has filed a total of 3,555 new cases. Out of all these cases in which the ED did its investigation and formed a case on the basis of evidence, the court has convicted the accused in only 23 cases. Using this data, he argued that the intention of the ED has hardly ever been to investigate a crime and send the accused to jail. He said that their main role is to file a false case on the behest of the BJP and trouble the leaders of the opposition parties.
He added that often the ED does not even bother to look for evidence in such cases, as it knows that there is nothing to look out for. Their only intention is to keep leaders such as Shri Manish Sisodia and Shri Satyendar Jain in jail for months on the pretext of an investigation and to kill the spirit of the opposition leaders.
Referring to the case of Shri Manish Sisodia, Shri Raghav Chadha said that this case is a classic textbook example of abuse of process of law. Explaining the modus operandi in this case, he said that the entire point of this investigation is to keep the AAP leader in jail. “The BJP is misusing agencies and the process of the court to keep senior leaders of the opposition in jail for months altogether in the name of finding evidence in the case. Not a single new question has been asked by the agencies despite saying in court that custodial investigation of Shri Manish Sisodia is important to reveal the details of the crime. When there is no evidence, then what questions will the CBI or the ED ask Shri Manish Sisodia? When there is no case, then what will the agencies reveal through questioning in front of the witnesses? All that they do is repeat the same questions while sipping tea for a couple of hours in the day. Their intentions are clear and that is to keep Shri Manish Sisodia in jail for as long as possible,” he said.
He criticised the BJP and said that despite having such a huge majority in Parliament, it is shameful to see them misuse central agencies to attack a small political party like the Aam Aadmi Party. He further said that Shri Manish Sisodia is not the name of a leader, but an institution. He added that a person who indulges in corruption will not bother to wake up at 6 am and go around visiting the schools of Delhi and ensuring that 18 lakh children in the government schools get the best of facilities.
He said that even the children of the BJP leaders and party workers in Delhi must be studying in the government schools of the city and even their children must be ashamed at the politics of the BJP. “I would like to tell the leaders of the BJP that even their children must be studying in these schools that have been developed by Shri Manish SIsodia. Even your children must be coming to you and asking, ‘Papa, why did you do such a thing to Manish uncle. Why did you play with the future of ours? Why are you all after the lives of Manish Uncle?’ At least think about your children and the person who worked day and night to improve the future of your children,” he said.
He concluded by saying that the BJP is afraid of the Aam Aadmi Party and of Shri Arvind Kejriwal and therefore they have misused the central agencies to arrest a senior leader of the party. The only intention of the BJP in this case is to keep Shri Manish Sisodia in jail for as long as possible. He however said that eventually the truth will triumph and Shri Manish Sisodia will be out of jail. He also urged the BJP to move from ‘Badle ki Rajneeti’ to ‘Badlaav ki Rajneeti’ and said that this country has seen the former too many times now. He added that it would be good for the country if the BJP manages to transform from the former to the latter.