Former minister Anil Deshmukh asked the Mumbai court for default bail. The judge says no | Bombay News
Mumbai: A Mumbai court on Tuesday rejected the default bail request of former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, ruling that the Directorate of Law Enforcement (ED) filed a writ charges against him.
The 71-year-old Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader, arrested on November 2 in a money laundering case, had applied for bail before Extra Sessions Judge RN Rokade, a judge designated for adjudicate offenses under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Lawyers Vikram Chaudhri and Aniket Nikam, representing Deshmukh, argued that the former minister was entitled to bail by default since the court was unaware of two indictments filed against him by ED.
Deshmukh’s lawyers have argued that the mere filing of a complaint or an indictment cannot be construed as a conclusion of the investigation since the court has sufficient powers to order a further investigation.
So far, no satisfaction has been registered by this court regarding the completion of the investigation into the examination of any prosecution complaint presented before it, they said, arguing that the knowledge of the indictment by the court is a prerequisite for granting Anil Deshmukh a further remand.
They claimed that a combined reading of the provisions showed that at the pre-knowledge stage, there was a legal embargo on granting pre-trial detention beyond 60 days if the accused was willing to provide bail upon the expiry of 60 days following his arrest. “So if at that time, that is, 60 days, knowledge is not taken, his pre-trial detention cannot be continued,” Deshmukh’s legal team said.
ED challenged this interpretation of the law. Arguing for the agency, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh and Attorney Shreeram Shirsath argued that default bail cannot be considered once the indictment or supplemental indictment has been filed. filed within 60 days of arrest.
“It is argued that the concept of legal bond / default bond cannot be considered once the indictment and supplemental indictment have been filed. The complementary complaint against Deshmukh and 11 others was filed on December 29, 2021 within 60 days of the date of his arrest. The registry even assigned a central filing number to said complaint,” the agency said in its response opposing the bail plea.
The court, while denying the bail plea, said ED filed the indictment on time and the section Deshmukh cited did not talk about perusing the indictment.
The agency said its investigation began after former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh alleged that Deshmukh ordered Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze to collect ₹100 crores every month in bars in Mumbai. Singh approached the Bombay High Court (HC) and filed a petition on the matter. Based on the High Court order, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) initially conducted a preliminary investigation and on 21 April registered a case under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act , after which ED began its investigation.
ED also alleged that, on Deshmukh’s instructions, Vaze called a meeting of Mumbai bar owners and demanded a monthly fee of ₹3 lakh of each.
In its indictment, the agency alleged that Vaze collected ₹4.70 crore from bar owners between December 2020 and February 2021, as requested by Deshmukh. According to the agency, Vaze handed over the money to Kundan Shinde, Deshmukh’s personal secretary who was also arrested and subsequently part of the amount was funneled to the charitable trust run by Deshmukh in Nagpur through various front companies under the form of donations.