The Bombay High Court on October 4, 2022, granted bail to former State home minister Anil Deshmukh in an alleged case of money laundering by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). However, it stayed it till October 12.
A single bench of Justice N.J. Jamadar granted bail to Mr. Deshmukh, currently lodged at Arthur Road Jail, but stayed it till October 12 as Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh said he wanted to appeal against it before the Supreme Court.
Mr. Singh said the court is shut for a week and therefore sought for a stay till October 14. However, advocate Aniket Nikam appearing for Mr, Deshmukh objected to the stay.
The court recorded, the Supreme court reopens on October 10, so the bail shall become effective from October 13.
The Bench held that first two components of credit in trust do not form proceeds of crime. Third one depends on statement of suspended police officer Sachin Waze, which in discussion falls in favour of Mr. Deshmukh. The court granted bail to Mr. Deshmukh on the surety of ₹1 lakh.
But Mr. Deshmukh is unlikely to be released from jail even after October 13, irrespective of the Supreme Court’s verdict, because of the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) case against him.
On September 28, Justice Jamadar had concluded a two-day hearing on Mr. Deshmukh’s plea and had reserved its order, adding it would be pronounced “as early as possible”.
The Supreme Court had directed the High Court to hear and decide the Nationalist Congress Party leader's plea expeditiously as it was pending for six months.
Advicates Vikram Chaudhari and Mr Nikam had argued for Mr Deshmukh's that considering he is 72-years old, has health issues and the fact that he had no criminal antecedents he should be granted bail.
Mr Singh had opposed the application arguing that Mr Deshmukh did not suffer from any ailments that cannot be treated at jail hospital.
The case dates back to March 20, 2021, when former police commissioner of Mumbai Param Bir Singh wrote a letter to the then chief minister Uddhav Thackeray alleging Mr Deshmukh of abusing his position and powers to seek illegal monetary benefits. The letter alleged instances of Mr Deshmukh directing Mr Waze and others to collect ₹100 crore from bars and restaurants over a month.
The High Court on April 5, 2021, had directed a preliminary inquiry against Mr Deshmukh by CBI. Soon thereafter, the ED stepped in and started conducting a probe into allegations of money laundering against Mr Deshmukh.
On April 21, 2021, a FIR was registered against Mr Deshmukh under section 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and section 7 (public servant taking gratification other than legal remuneration in respect of an official act) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.