scorecardresearch
Saturday, Jan 28, 2023
Advertisement
Premium

Money laundering case: SC refuses to interfere in Bombay HC order granting bail to Anil Deshmukh

On October 4, the Bombay High Court had asked Deshmukh to furnish a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh and sureties of the like amount, and also put conditions on him for attendance before the trial court and the investigating agency.

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)

The Supreme Court Tuesday refused to interfere with the October 4 order of the Bombay High Court granting bail to former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh in a money laundering case lodged by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Deshmukh is still in CBI custody and his bail plea against the agency’s case is likely to be heard next by a special court on October 14.

A bench of Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice Hima Kohli while hearing the ED’s appeal Tuesday said it will not interfere in the HC order. “Since the observations in the High Court order are only confined to if he was entitled to bail, we clarify that they will not affect the merits of the trial or any other collateral proceedings. Having said that, we are not inclined to interfere with the HC order granting bail and dispose of this Special Leave Petition (SLP),” said the bench.

On October 4, a single-judge bench of Justice N J Jamadar of the Bombay High Court had asked Deshmukh to furnish a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh and sureties of the like amount, and also put conditions on him for attendance before the trial court and the investigating agency.

Subscriber Only Stories
The K Arun Prakash Interview: ‘My style is to highlight the composition a...
At international checkpoint, online system  helps vehicles cross over sea...
Experts say Adani Group stock sell-off may not affect market, but deepens...
Delhi Confidential: Lok Sabha Speaker wants MPs to learn lessons from Pad...

After the ED had sought time to approach the Supreme Court, the high court had said that its order will be effective from October 13.

Justice Jamadar had noted that the credibility of the accusation levelled by the ED against Deshmukh “entirely hinges” on statements of dismissed police officer Sachin Waze, who was co-accused in the case, before turning an approver. It had observed that Deshmukh’s “criticism about the credentials of Waze, in the light of the situation in which Waze finds himself, borne out by the material on record, may carry some substance.”

The high court had also noted that Deshmukh, 73, was suffering from multiple ailments, some of which may be classified as degenerative and chronic and “it would be audacious to observe that the Applicant is not a sick person.” The court has asked Deshmukh to remain in Greater Mumbai within the jurisdiction of the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) Court.

Advertisement

Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta, while representing the central agency, said Tuesday that the Bombay High Court’s observations regarding Waze were incorrect. However, the Justice Chandrachud-led bench said it was only bail and not on the merits of the case.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal who appeared for Deshmukh opposed the ED’s plea and said the high court order cannot be interfered with unless it is perverse. Sibal submitted that Deshmukh is in custody for nearly a year and he deserves to be released on bail.

The Supreme Court then refused to interfere with the HC order and disposed of the ED’s plea.

Advertisement

Deshmukh was arrested in November last year by the ED in connection with allegations of money laundering and bribes from restaurant and bar owners. According to the ED, Deshmukh’s family “laundered the tainted sum of Rs 4.18 crore and projected it as untainted by showing the same amount as received by the trust, namely Shri Sai Shikshan Sanstha”.

The ED probe into Deshmukh’s financial transactions is in line with a CBI probe into former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh’s allegations of corruption against the NCP leader. The CBI initiated a preliminary probe based on the April 5, 2021, high court order and registered an FIR on April 21.

First published on: 11-10-2022 at 16:41 IST
Next Story

Sri Lanka to keep ‘middle-income’ status but seek concessional loans

Latest Comment
Post Comment
Read Comments
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
close