Free Press Journal

AAP MLA liquor case: court dismisses man’s anticipatory bail


New Delhi: A Delhi court today dismissed the anticipatory bail plea of a man who was an accused in a case in which around 8,500 bottles of illicit liquor were seized from a godown before the assembly elections here. Additional Sessions Judge Mukesh Kumar Gupta rejected the anticipatory bail plea of one Sanjay Verma. Fearing arrest, Verma had approached the court seeking anticipatory bail and the court had sought the police’s reply on it today.

The plea was opposed by Crime Branch of Delhi Police which said the investigation was at an initial stage and Verma was giving evasive replies during his interrogation. The prosecutor argued Verma was required to be confronted with the other accused in the case as they were giving different versions and police have to find out what was the source and purpose of the liquor bottles.

He said custodial interrogation of the accused would be required to find out all the details and to know who all were involved in the case. The court had earlier said Verma should not be arrested till May 30 and also directed him join the investigation and cooperate with the police.

According to police, Verma had helped in unloading the liquor bottles from the tanker at the godown on somebody’s instructions over phone. The police had earlier said there were indications that the large quantity of liquor seized from the warehouse at Uttam Nagar belonged to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Naresh Balyan and his cousin.

Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ravindra Yadav had said the investigation had revealed that the plot in Uttam Nagar, where the cartons were stored, belonged to Balyan’s cousin but “he uses the godown and the liquor belonged to him, so we served him a notice”.

An FIR was registered in the case against unnamed persons. AAP had maintained that Balyan had got nothing to do with the recovered liquor and said these are all old tactics of the opposition to defame the party.

On January 31, Delhi Police had registered a case under Excise Act on recovering around 8,500 bottles with the label “for sale in Haryana only”. During the raid, 397 cartons of India Made Foreign Liquor were seized by police and Election Commission officials and police had said the liquor was meant for distribution during the Delhi assembly elections.