Mumbai: In a setback to Anil Deshmukh, a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court on Tuesday rejected the former Maharashtra home minister’s plea to be granted default bail in connection with a money laundering case registered against him by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
Deshmukh was arrested on November 2 by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) which alleged that he had been the prime beneficiary of alleged bribes taken by dismissed police officer Sachin Waze from bar owners between December 2020 and March 2021.
Special Judge R N Rokade rejected Deshmukh’s plea which claimed that he was sent to judicial custody that extended beyond the stipulated 60 days as per the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).
Deshmukh claimed that his judicial custody was extended to January 9 on December 27.
Deshmukh’s lawyers argued that his custody was extended beyond 60 days as the ED ‘misled’ the court. It was submitted that the time within which the chargesheet was to be filed ended on January 2. The court could not have therefore extended his judicial custody beyond the 60th day, his lawyers submitted to the court.
It was also submitted that the court had not taken cognisance of the chargesheet filed by the ED so far, hence he was entitled for the release.
The ED filed a supplementary chargesheet against Deshmukh on December 29.
The ED opposed Deshmukh’s bail plea stating that once the chargesheet is filed within the prescribed time limit, the accused cannot seek default bail. It was also submitted that the question of cognisance of the chargesheet is not relevant for default bail as it is the prerogative of the court.
Deshmukh is lodged at Arthur Road jail. The ED named 14 accused in the first chargesheet filed in August, including Waze, two of Deshmukh’s staffers arrested in July and companies allegedly linked to his family.
In the supplementary chargesheet, the ED named 12 others, including Deshmukh and his sons Hrishikesh and Salil.