Arrested Delhi ministers Manish Sisodia, Satyender Jain quit state cabinet

NEW DELHI — Delhi ministers Manish Sisodia and Satyender Jain – both in custody for alleged corruption – resigned from the Delhi cabinet on Tuesday.

Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener Arvind Kejriwal accepted their resignations.

The CBI arrested Sisodia on Sunday evening — after nine hours of interrogation – for the alleged financial irregularities in the now-scrapped liquor policy of 2021-22. Sisodia also holds the capital’s finance portfolio.

The Enforcement Directorate had arrested Jain on 30 May, 2022 in a money-laundering case, based on a CBI FIR lodged in 2017 under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Sisodia was in charge of 18 portfolios, including that of Jain’s health department.

It is understood that Kejriwal will soon go for a cabinet reshuffle and bring in new ministers. There are now five ministers in the Delhi cabinet, including the chief minister.

The ministers’ resignations came hours after the Supreme Court refused to entertain Sisodia’s plea, challenging his arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the excise policy case.

The top court asked him to go to the Delhi High Court instead.

Since his arrest on Sunday evening, Sisodia’s custody with the CBI was extended till 4 March by Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court on Monday. The CBI needed more time to question him, officials said, as they felt the former minister was not cooperating enough.

In December last year, the Supreme Court had dismissed Jain’s plea seeking expeditious hearing of his bail application.

Jain’s bail hearing is now going on in the Delhi High Court.

The ED’s case is based on a CBI complaint registered on the allegation that Satyendra Jain had acquired movable properties in the name of various persons from 14 February, 2015, to 31 May, 2017, which he could not satisfactorily account for. — (Agencies)