Home / News / Former Maharashtra minister Anil Deshmukh gets bail in money laundering case

The Bombay High Court (HC) has granted bail to former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh in a money laundering case. The money laundering case against Anil Deshmukh was registered by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). The court has, however, stayed the order till 13 October to enable the law enforcement agency to file an appeal against Anil Deshmukh's bail.

Two components of credits in the account of a trust controlled by the Anil Deshmukh family, flagged by the ED, were not "proceeds of crime," the court noted in the order.

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Anil Deshmukh was arrested on 2 November 2021 is also facing a corruption case registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

In his order, Justice NJ Jamadar said Anil Deshmukh would be released on a bond of 1 lakh. As the additional solicitor general said that the Enforcement Directorate would approach the Supreme Court to challenge the bail, the court stayed the order till 13 October.

Anil Deshmukh was the home minister in the previous MVA coalition government of Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress. He is currently lodged in Arthur Road jail in Mumbai.

The ED began its probe against Deshmukh after the CBI registered a case against him over allegations of extortion made by former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh.

The ED claimed that Anil Deshmukh misused his official position and collected 4.70 crore from various bars and restaurants in Mumbai. The money was channeled to Nagpur-based Shri Sai Shikshan Sansthan, an educational trust controlled by the Deshmukh family, it alleged. But the high court noted in the order on Tuesday that two components of credits in the trust's account were not "proceeds of crime".

"The third component (of credit) depends on the statement of Sachin Waze which after discussion this court has held that it falls in the favour of the applicant (Deshmukh)," the court said.

He was giving Deshmukh the benefit of a proviso of section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, the judge added. As per this provision, a court can grant bail if an accused is a woman, or sick.

Meanwhile, the Bombay high court had court instructed Anil Deshmukh to not tamper with evidence when released on bail. The court also added that he'd have to attend the trial on every date and surrender his passport.

IPS officer Param Bir Singh had in March 2021 alleged that Anil Deshmukh, then home minister, had given a target to police officers to collect 100 crore per month from restaurants and bars in Mumbai.

Former assistant police inspector Waze, arrested in the Antilia bomb scare case in March 2021, too had levelled similar allegations. The high court in April 2021 directed the CBI to carry out a preliminary inquiry. The CBI, based on this inquiry, registered an FIR against Deshmukh and his associates for alleged corruption and misuse of official power.

(With agency inputs)

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