A special court in Mumbai on Tuesday rejected the bail plea of former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh in connection with a money laundering case registered against him by the Enforcement Directorate, Bar and Bench reported.

The central agency had arrested Deshmukh on November 2 and he is currently in judicial custody. Special Judge RN Rokade rejected Deshmukh’s petition.

In his plea, the Nationalist Congress Party leader argued that the special court for Prevention of Money Laundering Act cases had not taken cognisance of the chargesheet filed by the Enforcement Directorate before remanding him to further judicial custody.

The former minister also contended that excluding the date of first remand, a period of 60 days had elapsed and he should be granted default bail under the provisions of Section 167 of the Criminal Procedure Code. “Deshmukh’s custody is bad in law and the right to statutory bail arises only after completing 60 days,” his plea stated.

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 Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry. The economic intelligence agency has claimed that more than Rs 4 crore collected from bar owners in Mumbai during Deshmukh’s tenure was routed to his charitable trust in Nagpur through four shell companies in Delhi.