THE BOMBAY High Court Friday granted bail to NCP leader and former Maharashtra deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal (71), under trial in a money laundering case since March 2016.
The court has taken into account Bhujbal’s age while ordering his release. He is likely to be released from the Arthur Road jail on May 6. Following the order, the NCP tweeted that the bail is a step towards justice.
Justice P N Deshmukh granted bail to Bhujbal at a bond of Rs 5 lakh and on the condition that he will not “make any inducement, threat or promise to any person acquainted with the facts of the case so as to dissuade him to disclose such facts to the court or to any other authority”.
Moreover, Bhujbal was asked to appear before the investigating agency whenever required and also present himself before the special PMLA court in Mumbai on fixed dates without fail. Bhujbal was also asked to submit his residential address and passport to the investigating agency.
On the High Court’s order on December 18, 2014, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) — comprising Enforcement Directorate and Anti-Corruption Bureau officials — was constituted to probe alleged malpractices in granting a contract to K S Chamakar Enterprises and India Bulls Private Limited for the construction of Maharashtra Sadan in New Delhi and Kalina Library at Mumbai University’s Kalina campus.
Bhujbal was accused of misusing his post as the state PWD minister and indulging in money laundering. He was arrested on March 14, 2016 and has since filed three bail applications and two writ petitions challenging his arrest under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).