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Anil Deshmukh: Bombay HC grants Former Maharashtra minister bail in corruption case, but will stay in jail for 10 more days | Mumbai News

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Monday granted bail to former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh in a corruption case filed against him last year by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Last Thursday, the HC bench of Justice MS Karnik had reserved his plea for orders.
The CBI sought a stay as it intends to approach the apex court to challenge the grant of bail. The HC then said its order would be effective after 10 days.
The bail granted is on a bond and surety of Rs 1 lakh.
Additional solicitor general Anil Singh appearing for CBI, had said that just because bail is granted in a money laundering offence case doesn’t automatically mean bail be granted in a CBI case too. He said the Supreme Court has said money laundering is a stand alone offence and in any case bail in a predicate offence has to be decided separately on its own merits. He said before the HC earlier in the Enforcement Directorate (ED) case under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the CBI chargesheet was not argued.
He read out part of the chargesheet including statement of a witness Sanjay Patil to argue the CBI case that Deshmukh had abused his position to demand that Rs 100 crore be collected from over 1,700 bar owners in Mumbai and interfere in police transfers and postings.
Singh had pointed out the HC order in a public interest litigation last year directing a preliminary enquiry by the central agency by observing that given allegations are against the then home minister— Deshmukh resigned hours later that day—an independent agency probe is required. Singh read through another HC order of dismissal of Deshmukh’s quashing plea too.
Deshmukh’s counsel Vikram Choudhry with advocate Aniket Nikam had argued that after considering the entire material on record the, HC had granted him bail in the PMLA case and the SC has not disturbed that order of bail.
Choudhry said the CBI and PMLA case are intertwined and one cannot be separated from the other. In the CBI matter, though there are three allegations, the chargesheet is filed only against one and Deshmukh’s arrest is also improper as it is in violation of guidelines laid down by the SC.
Chaudhry had also argued that Deshmukh in his 70s and in jail for over a year deserved bail on merits of the case.
He had said that the dismissed police officer Sachin Waze has taken contradictory stands before and his statements cannot form the basis to deny him bail in the corruption case.
After the special trial court denied him bail, the former minister came to the HC. They cited and read out from the HC order granting him bail in the Enforcement Directorate (ED) case under the Prevention of Money laundering Act (PMLA).
The PMLA case still had Waze as a co-accused and the HC thus said it was not placing much reliance on his statements, while the case registered earlier last April by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) under the Prevention of Corruption Act against Deshmukh, has Waze as an approver—state witness and hence his statements mattered at the bail stage too said the trial court.
Deshmukh also argued that CBI chose to arrest him despite having interrogated him twice while he was in custody after being arrested first by the ED.

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