The Bombay High Court will pronounce its order on December 12 on the bail plea of NCP leader and former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh in a corruption case filed by the CBI.
Justice Makarand S Karnik concluded the hearing on Thursday and reserved its order on Deshmukh’s appeal challenging a special CBI court decision that denied him bail.
Granted bail in a case filed by the Enforcement Directorate, Deshmukh remains in custody only in the CBI case. He was arrested in November last year by the ED and subsequently by the CBI.
Additional solicitor-general Anil Singh, representing the CBI, said the investigation as well as statements given by dismissed Mumbai police officer Sachin Waze and Deshmukh’s aides Sanjeev Palande and Kundan Shinde showed that the NCP leader was “involved in corruption of the highest level” that affected governance in the state.
Singh said that Deshmukh could not be automatically granted bail in the CBI case just because he was granted the relief in the money-laundering case. The high court granted bail to him in the ED case on October 4.
Singh said that while the high court and the Supreme Court had refused relief to Deshmukh in his plea seeking the quashing of the CBI FIR, default bail was also denied to him. Deshmukh, being an influential person, can interfere with the investigation, he added.
The CBI submitted that Deshmukh had asked Waze to collect money from bars and restaurants in Mumbai, adding that the dismissed police officer gave some of the nearly Rs 4.7 crore thus collected to Kundan Shinde.
Senior advocate Vikram Chaudhari, appearing for Deshmukh, questioned the “quality of evidence” that was based on Waze’s statements on the grounds that he had been made an approver in the case.
Justice Karnik began hearing Deshmukh’s bail plea on Tuesday and Chaudhari told the judge there was an “umbilical cord connection” between the CBI and ED cases and that the bail order in the money-laundering case had considered evidence in both cases as well as the former minister’s age and ailments.
“The HC bail order in the ED case also said that in all probability, Deshmukh may not be convicted. He has suffered for over a year in incarceration and if he continues to remain in custody, it will be an injury to justice,” Chaudhari argued.