The Bombay High Court on Tuesday adjourned till December 2 the hearing on the bail plea of Maharashtra’s former home minister Anil Deshmukh in a case of corruption and misuse of official position being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation.
A single bench of Justice M S Karnik could not begin hearing on the bail plea on Tuesday as Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, appearing for the CBI, was not able to appear before the court as he was unwell.
Deshmukh (73) had approached the HC after a special CBI court rejected his bail plea last month. He sought bail both on medical grounds and merits.
Senior counsel Vikram Chaudhari, appearing for Deshmukh, sought an early hearing saying Deshmukh has been in jail since November last year. Justice Karnik said he would hear the matter on December 2.
”This is a bail plea both on medical grounds as well as on merits. I will first hear the arguments on medical grounds. If I am satisfied only then I will go into the arguments on merits,” Justice Karnik said.
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader is in jail since November last year after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested him in a money laundering case. In April this year, the CBI arrested him in a corruption case. He is presently in judicial custody and lodged at the Arthur Road Jain in Mumbai.
The HC last month granted bail to Deshmukh in the ED case. His bail plea in the corruption case was, however, rejected by the special CBI court, noting there was prima facie evidence against him.
In his bail plea in the HC, Deshmukh said he is suffering from several ailments and is incarcerated since almost a year and the trial in the case may not commence anytime soon.
The plea claimed the special court while refusing him bail merely did a ”cut, copy and paste” of the CBI charge sheet.
Former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh in March 2021 alleged that Deshmukh, who was then the state home minister, had given a target to police officers to collect Rs 100 crore per month from restaurants and bars in Mumbai. Former assistant police inspector Sachin Waze, arrested in the case of an explosives-laden vehicle found near the residence of industrialist Mukesh Ambani last year, had also 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.