Anil Deshmukh seeks default bail in corruption case, court asks CBI to respond

A Mumbai court has asked CBI to respond to Anil Deshmukh's plea seeking default bail in a corruption case.

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Former Maharashtra minister Anil Deshmukh
Former Maharashtra minister Anil Deshmukh seeks default bail in corruption case. (File Photo)

Former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and his personal secretary, Sanjeev Palande have moved Central Bureau of Investigation court in Mumbai to seek default bail in the corruption case registered against them by the agency.

Deshmukh and Palande have sought bail on the ground that the chargesheet filed by the CBI is incomplete and hence they are entitled to invoke the remedy of statutory bail contemplated under Section 167 (2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

Section 167 (2) of CrPC talks about completion of an investigation within a stipulated time period and if not completed, then the accused is entitled to be released from judicial custody.

The plea filed through advocate Aniket Nikam, contended that Deshmukh has not been provided with a copy of the chargesheet or given access to the same yet.

The plea stated that “apparently an incomplete chargesheet” has been filed by the investigating agency against the applicant and hence he is entitled to “invoke the remedy of statutory bail”.

A special CBI judge on Wednesday issued a notice to the CBI and sought its response to the plea.

Similarly, Palande, through advocates Shekhar Jagtap and Sairuchita Chaudhry filed the default bail plea.

After the two default bail applications were filed, the court sought the say of CBI and will be hearing the bail applications on Monday.

The CBI has registered a First Information Report (FIR) against Deshmukh and unknown others on the basis of the findings in the preliminary inquiry in 2021. However, Deshmukh and others were arrested in the case only on April 4 this year. So the statutory period of filing a chargesheet expired on June 2.

What are the allegations against Deshmukh?

Deshmukh is currently in judicial custody in a money laundering case being probed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). He is lodged in the Arthtur Road jail in Mumbai.

Former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh in March last year 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 the city.

Deshmukh denied the allegations, but stepped down from his post after the Bombay High Court directed the CBI to register a case against him.