delhi high court

Delhi High Court: An application was filed by Manish Sisodia, former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister and sitting MLA from the national political party named Aam Aadmi Party seeking interim bail for a period of six weeks in a case registered for the offences punishable under Sections 3 & 4 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 on the ground of illness of his wife Mrs. Seema Sisodia. Dinesh Kumar Sharma, J., refused bail considering that the petitioner is an influential person, and the allegations are very serious in nature.

The petitioner has submitted that his wife is suffering from Multiple Sclerosis and from severe renal and gastro disease, which is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects the central nervous system and leads to severe disability due to which the communication between the brain and other parts of the body becomes disrupted. Due to disease and degeneration, Mrs. Seema Sisodia has been under continuous medical treatment and care and the petitioner is the only caretaker/attendant for his wife and must remain present to take care of her.

The petitioner further submitted that the condition of the applicant’s wife has suddenly again worsened, and she has again suffered from an acute inability to move for even a few meters and had to drag her legs to move and has become unable to move without assistance. Thus, in these circumstances, on 29-05-2023, she was again taken to the hospital for examination, and she was advised to rest for three weeks.

ED submitted that the petitioner has been alleged to have destroyed the evidence and he does not deserve to be admitted to bail as there is a high chance that he may tamper with the evidence and influence the vital witnesses and suspects/individuals involved in the instant case.

A medical report pursuant to Mrs. Seema Sisodia being taken to LNJP Hospital on 03-06-2023 reads as:

“With IV fluids and supportive treatment her dehydration is improved and at present her general condition is stable but as per opinion of Neurologists she requires close monitoring of her symptoms caused by progressive multiple sclerosis.”

But as per the latest medical report on general physical examination, Mrs. Seema Sisodia was found conscious and fully oriented and afebrile her pulse was 94/min, her blood pressure was 124/78 mm of Hg, her oxygen saturation was 97%.

The Court noted that a patient who needs medical attention must be provided immediate, effective, and adequate treatment given the serious degenerative disease from which Mrs. Seema Sisodia, has been suffering for the last around two decades. Therefore, the best medical treatment should be provided to Mrs. Seema Sisodia. Though, it is the choice of the patient and the members of her family from where the treatment is to be taken, it was suggested that Mrs. Seema Sisodia may be examined by the Board of Doctors to be constituted by the Medical Superintendant at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

The Court further noted that such applications always put them in a dilemma. On one hand, there are pressing humanitarian issues and at the same time, there are serious issues that go to the core of the administration of justice. The allegations are extremely serious in nature, and the court cannot allow itself to get influenced or overawed by the gravity of the allegations, but at the same time, it cannot forget the positions being held by the petitioner in the present dispensation and the nature of the case.

The Court held that considering the totality of facts and circumstances, it is very difficult to persuade itself to release the petitioner on interim bail for six weeks. However, as the Court felt that the petitioner should get an opportunity to see and meet his wife, it directed the petitioner to meet his wife for one day, as per the convenience of Mrs. Seema Sisodia, and the petitioner be taken to his residence/hospital (if she is admitted in the hospital) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in custody.

The Court further directed that the petitioner should not interact with the media in any manner, nor should he meet anybody except his wife or members of his family. The Commissioner of Delhi Police was also directed to ensure that there should not be any media gathering near the vicinity of his residence or the hospital where he is taken and shall also not use any phone or internet.

[Manish Sisodia v Directorate of Enforcement, 2023 SCC OnLine Del 3550, decided on 05-06-2023]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Mr. Mohit Mathur, Sr. Adv. with Mr. Vivek Jain, Mr. Rishikesh Kumar, Mr. Karan Sharma, Mr. Mohd. Irshad, Mr. Rajat Jain, Mr. Mohit Siwach, Mr. Harsh Gautam and Ms. Sheenu Priya, Advocates for the Petitioner;

Mr. Zoheb Hossain, Special counsel for ED and Mr. Vivek Gunani, Mr. Kartik Sabarwal, Mr. Hasnain Khwaja, Advocates for the Respondent.

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