Delhi excise ‘scam’: Court extends judicial custody of Manish Sisodia, Sanjay Singh till Jan 20

New Delhi: A Delhi Court on Wednesday extended till January 20 the judicial custody of AAP leaders Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh in a money laundering case related to the alleged excise scam.

Special Judge M K Nagpal also allowed Singh to visit the returning officer to receive his election certificate upon his re-election to the Rajya Sabha on January 12. Singh and two other AAP candidates are expected to get elected to the Rajya Sabha unopposed given the party’s overwhelming dominance in the Delhi assembly.

The court passed the order on an application moved by Singh seeking directions to the jail authorities to take him to the returning officer to receive the certificate as January 12 is the last date for withdrawal of nominations.

Mishra’s allegation was rejected by senior BJD leader and MLA Badrinarayan Patra.

“It is their (opposition) habit of making such statements to mislead people and gain mileage ahead of the upcoming election,” Patra, also a former minister hailing from the mineral-rich Kenojhar district, said.

The BJP leader said it would be appropriate to order a CBI probe into the alleged scam.

Mishra informed that he has written to the President, Prime Minister, Odisha Governor, and chief minister highlighting the irregularities.

“I have also spoken to the PM in this regard. The PM expressed surprise over such irregularities,” the leader of the opposition told reporters.

Asked whether he made such allegations keeping in view the upcoming Lok Sabha and assembly elections, Mishra said, “I have information about mining irregularities sine a long time. However, I could not bring them to the public as I was unwell and hospitalised for a long period. Now after getting discharged, I am highlighting the matter.” Mishra claimed that out of the 192 leased mines, 176 are in forest areas of which 98 are operating without forest and environment clearance.

He said of the 98 leased mines, 47 are running without forest clearance, while around 55 are adversely affecting rivers, rivulets, flora and fauna, and tribal populations in different parts of the state.

Mishra alleged that irregularities have also been noticed through excess exploration of minerals from around 75 iron ore and manganese mines.

He claimed many such mines were located near elephant corridors in Sundergarh and Keonjhar districts, which adversely affect the lives of the jumbos.

The BJP leader also demanded that the recommendations made by the Shah Commission should also be implemented to avoid irregularities in Odisha’s mining sector.