The CBI said that Anil Deshmukh cannot be automatically granted bail in the said case just because he was granted relief in a money laundering case.
Mumbai,UPDATED: Dec 8, 2022 02:53 IST
Former Maharashtra cabinet minister Anil Deshmukh (Photo: File)
By Vidya : The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday opposed the bail plea of former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh in a corruption case in the Bombay High Court. On Wednesday, the court was hearing the bail plea of Anil Deshmukh for the second day.
Deshmukh is embroiled in two investigations arising from the same allegation – one by the CBI for offences of corruption and the other by the ED under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). He has been granted bail in the ED case but is unable to come out of prison because of judicial custody in the CBI case.
WHAT DID DESKMUKH’S LAWYER SAID?
Advocate Vikram Chaudhari, Aniket Nikam and Inderpal Singh appearing for Deshmukh, submitted on Wednesday that the ex-minister had already spent a considerable amount of time behind bars for allegedly committing an offence which was punishable by maximum up to 7 years imprisonment.
Chaudhari contended that Deshmukh should not have been arrested at all. He harped on the bail granted in the ED case and said, “Any further delay will be an injury to justice.”
Chaudhari argued that the Bombay High court order, granting bail to Deshmukh in the ED case, took into consideration various evidence that had been put forth by the agency. The ED case too, like that of the CBI, banked on the statement of former Mumbai cop Sachin Waze.
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However, the High Court had raised doubts over the veracity of Waze’s statements while granting bail to Deshmukh, said Chaudhari. He also pointed out that Waze had become an approver in the CBI case and added, “Approver’s testimony is fraught with perils. He has purchased his pardon and there is every possibility that he can implicate anyone to safeguard his own interest.”
Chaudhari also pointed to the bail order, which had stated that Deshmukh may not be convicted in the ED case. Chaudhari claimed that there was no embargo for the present judge to consider the observations made in an interconnected matter by a co-ordinate bench of the High Court.
“There is a bail order which is operating in my favour, and I am not saying that it works automatically. I qualify on a better footing, as I have been cleared in the PMLA offence”, Chaudhari said.
Chaudhari further contended that the CBI had filed a chargesheet in the corruption case. However, they were yet to complete an investigation on the aspect of reinstatement of Waze and Deshmukh’s interference in the transfer of police officials. On the same issues, ED had already completed its investigation on all aspects.
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Before mentioning that Deshmukh was suffering from various medical ailments, Chaudhari also submitted that the original allegation against Deshmukh was of extorting Rs 100 crore, which later came down to Rs 4.70 crores and now allegedly stands at Rs 1.70 crores.
HERE’S WHAT THE CBI SAID
On behalf of CBI, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh began his submissions on Wednesday evening but due to paucity of time could not finish it. While opposing Deshmukh’s plea, Singh argued that bail for a PMLA offence would not mean bail can automatically be granted in a CBI case.
“PMLA offence is based on a predicate offence, but predicate offence is not based on PMLA offence. So, bail in the PMLA offence will not mean granting him bail in a predicate offence,” Singh said.
Singh will continue his arguments on Thursday, and it is likely that the court will pronounce the order immediately or could reserve it.
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