INDIA. Mumbai: Former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and CBI on charges of money laundering, collecting money from bar owners and approving favourable police transfers for money, was granted bail by the Bombay High Court in the ED case, nearly after 11 months on Tuesday.
Although Deshmukh has been granted bail, he will be in custody till October 13, in connection with the CBI case registered against him in April last year.
Besides, the time has been granted to ED to enable it to appeal against the bail in the Supreme Court. The bail was granted on a surety amount of Rs 1 lakh by Justice N J Jamdar.
Deshmukh is being accused of misusing his power for personal gain. The ED had allegedly made a case of illegal gratification of Rs 4.7 crore and had shown a chain of money being extorted from businessmen in Mumbai.
He also allegedly diverted the money to his trust via the hawala route. The investigation of the charges of corruption between 2019 and 2021 against Deshmukh and others is being conducted by the ED, CBI and other agencies.
The CBI had booked Deshmukh based on the Bombay High Court’s direction related to allegations levelled against him by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh claiming that the NCP leader misused his official position and collected money worth crores from various bars and restaurants in Mumbai.
Subsequently, the ED registered a case under the PMLA and arrested him in November 2021 and his custody was handed over to the ED. He was also in CBI custody till April 16. After he was granted judicial custody, he was transferred to Arthur Road jail in South Mumbai.
In the current case, his bail application was rejected by the PMLA court. As such he moved to the Bombay High Court, which heard the matter on September 27 and granted him bail on Tuesday.
Deshmukh’s lawyers Vikram Chaudhari and Aniket Nikam said that considering the senior NCP leader’s age (72), health and the fact that he had no criminal antecedents, he should be granted bail.
However opposing the bail, additional solicitor general Anil Singh, appearing for the ED, said Deshmukh did not suffer from any ailments that cannot be treated at the jail hospital.