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Jailed Delhi ministers Manish Sisodia and Satyendra Jain both resign from their posts in state cabinet

The news came in soon after the SC declined a plea by Manish Sisodia challenging his arrest by the CBI in an alleged case of corruption in the now-withdrawn Delhi liquor policy.

On Tuesday, February 28, the jailed Delhi ministers and AAP leaders Manish Sisodia and Satyendar Jain both resigned from their posts in the state cabinet. According to the news agency ANI, CM Arvind Kejriwal has accepted their resignation.

The news of the resignation came in soon after the Supreme Court’s decision to decline a plea by arrested Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia challenging his arrest by the CBI in an alleged case of corruption in the now-withdrawn Delhi liquor policy.

Notably, both ministers are currently in jail. While Sisodia was arrested by the CBI on Sunday, February 26, for alleged corruption in the formulation and implementation of the liquor policy for 2021–22 in the national capital, Jain was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in May last year for his alleged involvement in a money laundering case.

If sentenced to two years or more in jail, both Sisodia and Jain may lose their seats and can’t contest polls for six years.

AAP leader and Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia arrested by CBI in Liquor policy scam case

On Sunday, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader appeared for questioning at the CBi office in Delhi and was eventually arrested by the central agency. It is alleged that Manish Sisodia waived off ₹144.36 crores on the license fee, to be paid by the private liquor vendors, under the garb of the Coronavirus pandemic, incurred loss to the Excise Department and benefitted liquor licensees by waiving the import pass fee of ₹50 per beer case.

All these changes were made without the final approval of the Lieutenant Governor and thus considered illegal under the Delhi Excise Rules of 2010 and Transaction of Business Rules of 1993.

Thus, the Delhi government made a U-turn on its new excise policy in July 2022. A month later, CBI booked Manish Sisodia, ex-Only Much Louder (OML) CEO Vijay Nair and 13 others in an FIR for irregularities in the implementation of the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-2022.

AAP leader Satyendar Jain charged with money laundering

Notably, Sisodia’s cabinet colleague Satyendar Jain, who has been in jail for several months following his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case, also resigned. 

On May 30, 2022, the ED arrested Satyendar Jain under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. On May 31, the trial court remanded him to the custody of ED. The agency raided the residence and other places associated with Satyendar Jain on June 6 and 7. Following the raid, the agency confiscated Rs. 2.85 crores in cash and 133 gold coins weighing 1.80 kg in total.

The Health Minister of Aam Aadmi Party’s Delhi government was charged with money laundering in August 2017 by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Based on the FIR made by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the ED initiated a criminal case against Jain, alleging that he could not explain the source of income received by four firms in which he was a stakeholder. From 2010 to 2014, the firms allegedly laundered Rs 16.39 crores in cash.

The Home Ministry authorised the prosecution of Delhi minister Satyendar Jain in these matters, including disproportionate assets and money laundering, in November 2019. Under the PMLA, 2002, the Enforcement Directorate temporarily attached immovable assets worth Rs. 4.81 crores owned by Akinchan Developers Pvt. Ltd, Indo Metal Impex Pvt Ltd, and others in April of this year. This step was taken in connection with the case filed against AAP minister Satyendar Jain, his wife Poonam Jain, and others for disproportionate assets and money laundering.

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