Former Maharashtra minister and Nationalist Congress Party leader Anil Deshmukh on Tuesday moved a special court seeking default bail in connection with a money laundering case registered against him by the Enforcement Directorate, reported PTI.

The central agency had arrested Deshmukh on November 2 in connection with the case and he is currently in judicial custody.

The Enforcement Directorate had filed its first chargesheet in the money laundering case on August 23. It filed a supplementary chargesheet against Deshmukh and his sons, Hrishikesh and Salil Deshmukh, on December 29.

In his plea, Deshmukh argued that the special court had not taken cognisance of the prosecution complaint chargesheet before remanding him to further judicial custody.

The former minister said that he has been in custody for 60 days and since the court has not yet taken cognisance of the chargesheet, he should be granted default bail under the provisions of Section 167 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

The section states that a person can seek default bail if a chargesheet is not filed or its cognisance is not taken within 60 days from the individual’s arrest.

“That in a surreptitious manner without disclosing to this Honourable Court that the statutory period of 60 days shall expire on January 1, 2022, the respondents [Enforcement Directorate] obtained remand till January 9 when the matter was listed on December 27, 2021,” the plea said, according to The Indian Express.

The special court, which has been designated to hear cases under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, is likely to take up the bail plea for hearing on Wednesday.

The case

In March, Deshmukh had been accused by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh of coercing police officers to extort money on his behalf from the owners of bars and restaurants in the city.

Deshmukh repeatedly denied the accusations, but he resigned from the Maharashtra Cabinet on April 5 after the Bombay High Court directed the Central Bureau of Investigation to conduct a preliminary inquiry against him.

The Central Bureau of Investigation is inquiring Deshmukh for exercising “undue influence” over the transfer and postings of police officers.

The Enforcement Directorate is investigating Deshmukh based on the CBI inquiry. The economic intelligence agency has claimed that more than Rs 4 crore collected from bar owners in Mumbai between December and February was routed to Deshmukh’s charitable trust in Nagpur through four shell companies in Delhi.