Former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh Wednesday approached the Bombay High Court seeking a regular bail in a corruption case lodged against him by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The special CBI court had last week rejected Deshmukh’s bail application after which the NCP leader, through advocates Aniket Nikam and Inderpal Singh, had approached a vacation bench of Justice Makarand S Karnik Tuesday, who granted him liberty to file a bail plea in the registry.
After completing the filing procedure, the lawyers again mentioned the matter for an urgent hearing before a bench of Justice Sharmila U Deshmukh Wednesday. The bench asked CBI to file a reply by November 9 and posted the matter for further hearing to November 11.
Special CBI judge S H Gwalani had said that the offences alleged in the case are serious and “affect the economy of the nation”. The court said that white-collar offences are to be considered seriously. “Murder may be committed in the heat of the moment. Economic offences are committed with cool calculation,” the court said.
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The court also said that the statement of accused turned approver, dismissed cop Sachin Waze, plays an important role at the stage of bail and cannot be overlooked.
Challenging the special CBI court order, Deshmukh in his plea claimed that the trial court erred in refusing bail to him and its order was mere “cut, copy and paste job” of contents in CBI chargesheet. It added that the “approach adopted in the trial court order was perverse” and while the high court had considered his medical status while deciding his bail plea in the Enforcement Directorate case, the trial court overlooked the same.
Earlier this month, a single-judge bench of Justice N J Jamadar of the Bombay High Court had granted Deshmukh bail in a money-laundering case filed by the Enforcement Directorate. The high court had observed that prima facie reliance could not be placed on Waze’s statement.
The Enforcement Directorate 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, 2021.