Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
News Updates

Bombay High Court Seeks ED's Response In Anil Deshmukh's Plea For Bail In Money Laundering Case, Hearing On April 8

Sharmeen Hakim
25 March 2022 9:30 AM GMT
Bombay High Court Seeks EDs Response In Anil Deshmukhs Plea For Bail In Money Laundering Case, Hearing On April 8
x

Former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has sought bail from the Bombay High Court in case under the Prevention to Money Laundering Act after it was rejected by the special court last week. Justice Anuja Prabhudessai of the High Court has granted a week's time to the Enforcement Directorate to file its reply on the application and kept it for a hearing on April 8....

Former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has sought bail from the Bombay High Court in case under the Prevention to Money Laundering Act after it was rejected by the special court last week.

Justice Anuja Prabhudessai of the High Court has granted a week's time to the Enforcement Directorate to file its reply on the application and kept it for a hearing on April 8.

Deshmukh's application states that the allegations of money laundering and extortion against him are based on statements of some persons who themselves are also accused of various offences and that the ED had not been able to provide any evidence to substantiate the allegations. It adds that the agency was not able to corroborate the allegations despite passage of substantial time.

A special PMLA court in Mumbai, on March 14, had denied bail to Deshmukh in an alleged money laundering case, who has been in custody since November 2, 2021.

While rejecting the application special judge Rahul Rokade had observed, "Prima facie there is sufficient evidence to hold that the accused was involved in money laundering case." The court also observed that while there were contradicting witness statements, the same cannot be considered at this stage (stage of bail).

Deshmukh, in his bail plea filed in January, had contended that he was a victim of "gross persecution". He had also claimed that harassment was being meted out to him at the hands of certain unscrupulous vested interests for blatantly malafide considerations. It added that the case reflected "shocking abuse of power and authority" by the concerned officials who had virtually unleashed a reign of terror by subverting the process of law.

"If such adventurism which has been indulged into in the instant case is allowed to go unchecked, it will spell a death knell to the fundamental rights as guaranteed in the Constitution," it added. Earlier, the special court had rejected his default bail, filed on technical ground.

The application also contended that around 100 witnesses had been interrogated by the ED during their investigation and none of them had claimed to have been influenced by the accused, therefore, there could not be any chance of influencing any witness.

The ED, opposing his plea before the Special Court, had stressed on the modus operandi through which Deshmukh and his family members allegedly laundered over Rs.13 crore. According to the agency, the money was routed through shell companies and eventually transferred to the bank account of Shri Sai Shikshan Sanstha, a Trust purportedly formed by the Deshmukh family. The ED further alleged that the funds were transferred to various accounts of companies directly and indirectly controlled by Deshmukh's family members.

The agency had further contended that there was likelihood of Deshmukh attempting to influence the investigation and witnesses and/or obfuscate the trial; that he had amassed huge wealth during his public service, source of which was still unexplained and that he was not able to explain the sources of his wealth and was hiding the actual facts.

Deshmukh is accused of corruption and bribery by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, after which the ED and CBI registered cases against the former State Home Minister.

Next Story