A Mumbai court on Monday refused to grant bail to former Maharashtra Minister Anil Deshmukh in an alleged money laundering case, reported Live Law.
The case is related to accusations made by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh who had written to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in March last year alleging that Deshmukh had asked some officers to extort Rs 100 crore every month from bars and restaurants in the city.
Deshmukh, a senior leader of the Nationalist Congress Party, has 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.
He was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on November 2 and has been in judicial custody since then.
The Enforcement Directorate’s investigation is based on the Central Bureau of Investigation case. The agency has alleged that a part of the money collected from bars and restaurants of Mumbai had been routed to shell companies owned by Deshmukh.
Maharashtra is ruled by a coalition of the Nationalist Congress Party, Shiv Sena and Congress.
At Monday’s hearing, special court judge Rahul Rokade said there was enough evidence to suggest that Deshmukh was involved in money laundering, reported PTI. The judge also said that there were contradictions in the statements of the witnesses, but this aspect should not be considered at this stage of the bail plea.
On January 18, the special court had rejected the former minister’s default bail plea. In this plea, Deshmukh had argued that since his arrest in November, the court had not taken cognisance of the chargesheet filed against him within 60 days, as prescribed under Section 167 of The Code of Criminal Procedure.
The Enforcement Directorate, however, had said that chargesheet had been filed within 60 days of Deshmukh’s arrest.