CBI moves Supreme Court against High Court order granting bail to Anil Deshmukh
In its plea, the agency said that the High Court ‘committed grave error’ in its decision in the corruption case against the former Maharashtra home minister.
The Central Bureau of Investigation on Saturday moved the Supreme Court against the Bombay High Court’s decision to grant bail to former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh in a corruption case, PTI reported.
In its plea, the CBI claimed that the High Court “committed grave error” while granting bail to Deshmukh despite its objection.
“The High Court failed to appreciate that the economic offences are required to be treated as a separate category of offences and bail in such offences is not required to be granted as a routine matter,” the probe agency said.
On December 12, the Bombay High Court had granted bail to Deshmukh on a surety of Rs 10 lakh. It had, however, stayed its order for 10 days to allow the CBI to file an appeal before the Supreme Court.
While granting bail, the High Court had noted that except for the statements of dismissed police officer Sachin Vaze, no other evidence in the case has indicated that Deshmukh was involved in corruption.
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.
Vaze, who was once a co-accused in the case, turned approver in May. He had claimed that police officials collected Rs 1.71 crore from bar owners in February 2021 and March 2021, and the money was later handed over to Deshmukh’s personal assistant Kundan Shinde.
Deshmukh had moved to the high court after a special CBI court had denied him bail in the case on October 21. He was, however, granted bail on October 4 in a separate money laundering case that the Enforcement Directorate is investigating in connection to the allegations of corruption.
In Saturday’s plea, the CBI contended that the chargesheet filed in the case does not merely rely on the statement of Waze but is also based on other material evidence, which, according to them, establishes the commission of the cognizable offence by Deshmukh.
“The High Court failed to appreciate that the version of Sachin Waze, accused-turned-approver, is corroborated by WhatsApp chats exchanged between Param Bir Singh and [Assistant Commissioner of Police] Sanjay Patil to the effect that money collected from the bar and orchestra owners was at the instance of the respondent [Deshmukh],” the agency said, according to PTI.
The agency added that the High Court also failed to understand that despite demitting office of the home minister, Deshmukh holds “considerable clout” in Maharashtra.