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CBI opposes ex-Maharashtra minister Anil Deshmukh’s bail plea in Bombay HC

The investigating agency argued that bail in PMLA case does not automatically qualify for a bail in a corruption case.

Anil Deshmukh was arrested in November last year by the ED in connection with allegations of money laundering and bribes from restaurant and bar owners. (Express Photo By Ganesh Shirsekar/File)
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The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Wednesday opposed the bail plea of former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh in a corruption case in the Bombay High Court. It said that Deshmukh cannot be automatically granted bail in the said case just because he was granted relief in a money laundering case.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Anil Singh representing the CBI told a single-judge bench of Justice Makarand S Karnik that Deshmukh had asked now-dismissed cop Sachin Waze to collect money from bars and restaurants and nearly Rs 4.7 crore was collected from bar owners and some of this amount was transferred by Waze to Deshmukh’s personal assistant Kundan Shinde.

Singh further said that Deshmukh being granted bail in the Enforcement Directorate (ED) case cannot be a ground for his release on bail in a corruption case filed by the CBI. “Offence under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) is based on predicate offence (from CBI FIR), but predicate offence is not based on offence in PMLA case registered by ED. Therefore, the bail granted in PMLA case will not mean granting applicant bail in predicate offence,” Singh argued.

On October 4, the co-ordinate bench of the high court granted Deshmukh bail in a money laundering case filed by the ED. The high court had observed that prima facie, reliance could not be placed on Waze’s statement.

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Justice Karnik began hearing Deshmukh’s bail plea in the CBI case Tuesday, wherein senior advocate Vikram Chaudhari for Deshmukh told the bench that there is an “umbilical cord connection” between the CBI and ED cases and they were “interlinked”.

On Wednesday, Chaudhari concluded his submissions and stated that the bail order in the ED case had examined the evidence in both money laundering and corruption cases and had also considered the age and ailments of the applicant. Chaudhari submitted that Deshmukh was not arrested as per the law and a notice under Section 41A (for appearance before a police officer) of the CrPC was not issued to him prior to arrest.

“The HC bail order in ED case also said that in all probabilities 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.

Singh will continue his arguments Thursday.

First published on: 07-12-2022 at 20:55 IST
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