The Bombay High Court on December 12 granted bail to Maharashtra’s former home minister Anil Deshmukh’s bail plea in a case of corruption of ₹100 crore by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
A single bench of justice M.S. Karnik directed Mr. Deshmukh to be released after furnishing surety of ₹1 lakh. The order will be effective after 10 days as CBI sought time to appeal against it before the Supreme Court.
The bench was hearing the bail petition of Mr. Deshmukh, 73, lodged at Arthur Road Jail since November 2, 2021. A special CBI court on October 21 had rejected his bail in the same case.
The Nationalist Congress Party leader’s bail application stated, “He is a septuagenarian suffering from several serious ailments which have virtually incapacitated him to undertake ordinary pursuits of life without adequate medical treatment, is beseeching for a benevolent indulgence of court to admit him to regular bail in peculiar facts and circumstances which give rise to a reasonable inference that the entire proceedings are not only actuated with malice but also bereft of any legal sanctity.”
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On October 4, the high court had granted him bail in the money laundering case against him by the Enforcement Directorate.
The case dates to March 20, 2021, when former police commissioner of Mumbai Param Bir Singh wrote a letter to the then chief minister Uddhav Thackeray alleging Mr Deshmukh of abusing his position and powers to seek illegal monetary benefits. The letter alleged instances of Mr Deshmukh directing then police officer Sachin Vaze and others to collect Rs 100 crores from bars and restaurants over a month.
The High Court on April 5, 2021 had directed a preliminary inquiry against Mr Deshmukh by CBI. Soon thereafter, a First Information Report was registered against Mr Deshmukh under section 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and section 7 (public servant taking gratification other than legal remuneration in respect of an official act) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.