Mumbai, Nov 1 (SocialNews.XYZ) Senior Nationalist Congress Party leader and former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Tuesday completed a year in jail in separate cases lodged by the Enforcement Directorate and Central Bureau of Investigation pertaining to alleged corruption and related issues.
"Missing" for several months after he quit as home minister on April 5, 2021, he finally went to the ED office on November 1 last year and arrested shortly after midnight of November 2, and has remained behind bars since.
Last month, the Bombay High Court granted bail to Deshmukh in the ED's Prevention of Money Laundering Act case, but a special CBI Court declined bail to him in the Prevention of Corruption Act case.
The ED case pertains to certain alleged money-laundering deals through his family-run trusts in Nagpur, while the CBI case concerns corruption in police transfers/postings and collecting money from bar owners.
Last month, the Bombay High Court granted bail to Deshmukh in the ED case, but he remained entangled in the CBI case.
The special CBI court noted that the statement of the dismissed former cop Sachin Vaze - now turned an approver - was important and could not be overlooked at the stage of bail hearing, and there's a huge amount affecting the nation's economy.
Citing the high court orders, Deshmukh's lawyers said that the testimony of the CBI's prime witness Vaze was inadmissible as he kept changing his submissions before the probe panel, Justice K. U. Chandiwal Commission set up by the Maharashtra government.
The CBI argued that Deshmukh was a "flight risk" and drew differences between the ED and CBI cases, contending that Vaze is now an approver in the (CBI) case and there is sufficient evidence against the ex-minister.
The entire imbroglio started in early 2021 with a series of high-profile developments culminating with the then Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh writing a letter to the then CM Uddhav Thackeray, how Deshmukh had allegedly asked his officers like Vaze to collect Rs 100 crore from Mumbai bar owners.
With a series of petitions filed, in April 2021, the high court asked the CBI to conduct a preliminary probe into Singh's letter-bomb, and later the agency filed a FIR under the Prevention of Corruption Act, and based on the FIR, the ED also entered the matter with a PMLA probe.
The ED contended that between December 2020-February 2021, Deshmukh had allegedly received around Rs 4.70 crore as bribes from various bars in Mumbai through Vaze.
Last month, Justice N.J. Jamdar granted the bail to Deshmukh observing that the ex-minister may ultimately not get convicted in the ED case, in view of several contradictory statements, and Singh's allegations arising out of hearsay, while it found Vaze to be an unreliable witness.
In February 2022, NCP leader and minister Nawab Malik was arrested and remains in jail for the past over eight months, and Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut was also nabbed on August 1 and continues in jail since the past over 3 months.