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Anil Deshmukh’s plea for default bail ‘far-fetched’, ‘devoid of merits’: Court

The Enforcement Directorate had filed the chargesheet against the former Maharashtra home minister within the prescribed period, the special court said.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
January 21, 2022 12:07:53 pm
This was Anil Deshmukh’s first bail plea since his arrest. The 72-year-old is lodged in Arthur Road jail. (Express File Photo by Ganesh Shirsekar)

In its detailed order rejecting the default bail plea of former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, the special court observed that the extension of his judicial custody before the supplementary chargesheet was filed against him by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) cannot be held illegal.

Deshmukh, who was arrested on charges of alleged money laundering on November 2 last year, had claimed in his bail plea that the court could not have extended his judicial custody on December 27. The court rejected his plea on Tuesday. The detailed order was made available on Friday.

Special Judge Rahul N Rokade also rejected the former minister’s contention that he is entitled to default bail since the chargesheet filed by the ED on December 29 was not taken into cognizance by the court. The court said that the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code for grant of default bail was only to the limited extent of the chargesheet not being filed within the prescribed period.

“Taking cognizance on the report of the investigating agency is within the powers of the court for which the investigating agency cannot be put to accountability,” the court said. It added that the contention for default bail was therefore “far-fetched” and “devoid of merits”.

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“The delayed taking of cognizance of offence by magistrate would in no way defeat the report or the right of the investigating agency to have the accused under continued detention,” it said.

This was Deshmukh’s first bail plea since his arrest. The 72-year-old is lodged in Arthur Road jail. The court is yet to take cognizance of the chargesheet, following which the accused will be provided a copy by the ED.

The ED filed a supplementary chargesheet last month against Deshmukh, his two sons and others. It is claimed that Deshmukh is the primary beneficiary of the alleged bribes received by dismissed cop Sachin Waze from bar owners between December 2020 – March 2021. The ED had named Waze and 13 others as accused in its first chargesheet filed last year.

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