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Court rejects ex-Minister Anil Deshmukh’s default bail

Former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh. File

Former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh. File

Special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on Tuesday rejected former Home Minister of Maharashtra Anil Deshmukh’s default bail in corruption case against him.

Special judge RN Rokade rejected the bail. Mr Deshmukh, 71, currently lodged at Arthur Road Jail filed for statutory bail on the grounds that no cognizance was taken by the PMLA court of the chargesheet by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

The plea filed by advocate Aniket Nikam on January 4 which states, “Mr Deshmukh is incarcerated since November 2, when he was remanded to custody. Excluding the date of first remand, a period of 60 days has since elapsed. As he is offering to accept his bail bonds, there is an embargo in continuing his further remand as per of the Code of Criminal Procedure.”

“That in a serriptious manner without disclosing to this court that the statutory period of 60 days shall expire on January 1, 2022 and ED obtained remand from court till January 9, 2022 when the matter was listed before court on December 27, 2021. Mr Deshmukh’s custody is bad in law and the right to statutory bail arises only after completing 60 days,” the plea mentions.

He was arrested by the central agency on November 1 after being questioned for 12 hours. He was sent to the ED custody till November 6.

On December 29, ED filed a supplementary chargesheet before court against Mr Deshmukh and his two sons.

The case dates back to March 20, 2021 when former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh wrote a letter to the 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 suspended police officer Sachin Vaze and others to collect ₹100 crores from bars and restaurants over a month.

Soon thereafter the High Court directed a preliminary enquiry to be held against Mr. Deshmukh by the Central Bureau of Investigation. The ED then stepped in and started conducting a probe into allegations of money laundering against Mr Deshmukh.

On April 21, 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.

As per ED’s investigation 11 companies were directly controlled by family members of Mr. Deshmukh and another 13 companies came to light which are in the names of close associates of the Deshmukh family. Bank account statements show that money is flowing from companies indirectly controlled by Mr. Deshmukh’s family members to companies directly controlled by his family members.


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Printable version | May 22, 2022 9:32:41 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/court-rejects-ex-minister-anil-deshmukhs-default-bail/article38288463.ece