Bombay High Court extends stay on Anil Deshmukh’s bail order till December 27
The former Maharashtra home minister was granted bail on December 12.
The Bombay High Court on Wednesday extended the stay on its order granting bail to former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh in a corruption case till December 27, PTI reported.
On December 12, the Bombay High Court had granted bail to Deshmukh on a surety of Rs 10 lakh. It, however, stayed its order for 10 days to allow the Central Bureau of Investigation to file an appeal before the Supreme Court.
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.
On December 16, the CBI moved the Supreme Court claiming that the High Court “committed grave error” while granting bail to Deshmukh despite its objection. Its petition will be heard in January after thwinter vacations.
On Tuesday, the CBI, through Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, urged Justice MS Karnik of the Bombay High Court to extend the stay on its order till January 3, Live Law reported.
Advocate Aniket Nikam, appearing for Deshmukh, contended that the central agency’s application for the extension of the stay was an abuse of the legal process. He said that the agency can approach the vacation registrar of the Supreme Court instead.
“The order for bail was passed on December 12 and made available the same day,” Nikam argued, according to Live Law. “They filed the petition on December 16, the last [working] date of the Supreme Court [before the vacation]. CBI has earlier challenged orders overnight...They want this ‘backdoor entry’ and want this court to exercise powers.”
On being asked by Justice MS Karnik why the CBI has not approached the registrar, Singh said the registrar was contacted but it was difficult to get the matter listed.
“I will grant till Tuesday,” Justice Karnik then said.
Earlier, 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.
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 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 with the allegations of corruption.