Manish Sisodia case: There is a popular saying that ‘Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.’ With its promises of grandeur, AAP lured the voters of Delhi and pulled a hegemonic strength in the Delhi assembly. In the absence of strong opposition, AAP seems to have made several reckless, controversial, corrupt and illegal decisions. However, it seems that it undermined the strength of our democracy. The party purportedly overplayed its hand to trample future chances of other parties by exercising unfair means and deploying “extra-judicial” mechanisms to gather “political intelligence”.
Manish Sisodia under CBI Scanner
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) recently gave sanction to prosecute Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. After this MHA sanction, the AAP leader will be prosecuted under the Prevention of Corruption Act in the alleged snooping case involving AAP’s ‘Feedback Unit’ (FBU).
MHA sanctions Manish Sisodia's prosecution under Prevention of Corruption Act in 'Feedback Unit' snooping case
In a letter dated 17th of February 2023 to the Secretariat of Delhi LG, the MHA authorised the CBI to prosecute Mr. Sisodia in the alleged snooping case.
Earlier, the Delhi LG, Vinai Kumar Saxena had given CBI the go-ahead to prosecute sanctions against the AAP Minister. He had also forwarded his recommendation to the Home Ministry for its final decision on the matter.
The timeline of the case and what is the accusation?
Apart from other zillion ministries, AAP leader Manish Sisodia also heads the Vigilance department of the Delhi government. It is claimed that his Ministry surreptitiously created the FBU- an Extra Constitutional-Extra Judicial Intelligence Agency in 2015. It was allegedly tasked to spy on different Ministries, Opposition political parties, entities and individuals.
Following this, in 2016, an officer of the Directorate of Vigilance, Delhi government, filed a complaint in this matter. This prompted the CBI to conduct a preliminary inquiry. The CBI found that in addition to the assigned job, the FBU also collected political intelligence related to political activities of persons, political entities and political issues touching the political interest of AAP.
Owing to its extra-constitutional powers, the CBI had sought sanction to register an FIR against AAP Minister Sisodia.
Reportedly, the case also involves illegal or unaccounted expenditures made in the name of Secret Service Fund for FBU.
In March 2017, the Anti-Corruption Branch was granted the investigation by the Vigilance department. The LG office then marked it for the CBI. The preliminary inquiry was finished in 2021. In 2021 itself, the CBI sent letters to the LG and MHA requesting a sanction under section 17 A of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
In a note, LG VK Saxena alleged that the Delhi AAP government had attempted to establish an agency that was outside of its mandate. He said that the cabinet had not approved the agenda for setting up the feedback unit.
He further asserted that Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia were allegedly in charge of this unit.
Although AAP Minister Manish Sisodia has levelled this case as a false charge to implicate him, but his legal troubles seem to be mounting.
अपने प्रतिद्वंदियों पर झूठे केस करना एक कमज़ोर और कायर इंसान की निशानी है।
With two massive scandals – Liquor scam and snooping case – rocking the state politics, both involving AAP leader Manish Sisodia in the dock, he seems to have been caught in the legal whirlpool for the alleged wrongdoings and scandals of his party, for which there seems to be no escape.
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