The Maharashtra government on Wednesday granted the Central Bureau of Investigation sanction to prosecute former state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh in a corruption case, Bar and Bench reported on Thursday.

The special CBI court asked Deshmukh’s counsel to respond on the application and adjourned the hearing till October 6.

The CBI had filed a first information report against the Nationalist Congress Party leader under the provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act on April 24, 2021. The case is based on former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh’s statement accusing Deshmukh of extorting money from bars, restaurants and hookah parlours in Mumbai in March last year.

After the Bombay High Court directed the CBI to conduct a preliminary inquiry into allegations against him, Deshmukh resigned from the state Cabinet on April 5, 2021. The Bombay High Court had refused to quash the CBI FIR against Deshmukh in July 2021.

In November, the Enforcement Directorate, which is investigating the money laundering aspect of the case, arrested Deshmukh under Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The politician has been under the custody of the Enforcement Directorate ever since.

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday had reserved its order on Deshmukh’s bail plea after the Supreme Court had ordered to expedite the matter, reported Live Law.