Bombay HC grants ex-minister Anil Deshmukh bail

Deshmukh was detained by the ED in November of last year in connection with claims of money laundering and taking bribes from owners of bars and restaurants.

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Anil Deshmukh, former Maharashtra home minister, was granted bail on Tuesday by a single-judge bench of Justice N J Jamadar of the Bombay High Court in a money laundering case brought by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). Deshmukh, however, will continue to be held by the CBI.

The court imposed requirements on Deshmukh, including that he appear before the trial court and the investigative agency, and directed him to provide a personal bond of Rs. 1 lakh and sureties of the same amount.

The Supreme Court will be closed for the Dussehra holidays and reopen on Monday, October 10, according to the ED, which had requested a two-week delay in the implementation of the order. Deshmukh’s attorney objected to it and claimed that the agency might appeal to the Supreme Court even while on vacation and that the applicant was not entitled to be released on bail because he was being held for a CBI case. According to the court, the bail order will take effect on October 13th.

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“We have held that first, the components of credits in Trust do not form proceeds of crime. Third one depends on the statement of Sachin Waze (now dismissed and arrested police officer), which in our discussion falls in favour of the applicant (Deshmukh) The benefit of Proviso of section 45 of the PMLA Act is also applicable in the case,” the bench said.

The former home minister of the state was detained by the ED in November of last year in connection with claims of money laundering and taking bribes from owners of bars and restaurants.

Deshmukh’s appeal had been heard over the course of two days by Justice Jamadar, who reserved the decision on September 28 and stated that it will be issued “as soon as practicable.”

The top court had on September 26 instructed the high court to make a swift decision about the plea, noting that it had been pending before the high court since March 21.

After the special Prevention of Money Laundering (PMLA) Act court rejected Deshmukh’s bail request in March on the grounds that there is prima facie evidence to suggest that he had exercised “undue influence” over police officer transfers and postings, Deshmukh petitioned the high court through attorneys Aniket Nikam and Inderpal Singh.

Senior attorney Vikram Chaudhari, who is representing Deshmukh, previously stated that the NCP leader has been wrongfully accused in the case and should be granted bail because of his numerous medical conditions, including lung and spinal diseases. The suspected extortion money was allegedly gathered under the direction of former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, Chaudhari had stated.