The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday opposed the Habeas Corpus petition filed by former Maharashtra Minister Chhagan Bhujbal terming his arrest in an alleged money laundering case as “illegal.” Bhujbal is currently held in judicial custody on charges of money laundering.
N K Kaul, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) of the Union Government, appearing for ED, also opposed bail plea of Bhujbal who said that his arrest was illegal and made without following due procedure in law. He said Bhujbal was arrested under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) eight months back.
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Why is he moving the high court for bail by filing a Habeas Corpus petition so late? the ASG sought to know. The ASG, however, made a statement that ED would allow Bhujbal to continue to undergo treatment at Bombay Hospital where he has been admitted for last few days for multiple health problems.
A division bench of the high court headed by Justice Ranjit More then extended its earlier order, asking the authorities to allow Bhujbal to remain in Bombay Hospital for medical help till December 5. The high court would review its order about treatment in Bombay Hospital next week after considering Bhujbal’s health condition.
Bhujbal was arrested by ED on March 14 in connection with Maharashtra Sadan scam and Kalina land case in which he and his relatives were alleged to have received kickbacks. His lawyer argued that he should be given bail, as the ED did not follow the correct procedure while arresting him.
Additional Solicitor General denied that procedures were not followed during the arrest and justified the action against the former Minister. He also said that Bhujbal’s Habeaus Corpus petition was an abuse of process of law.
The court deferred the hearing on Bhujbal’s petition till December 5.