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The court directed Deshmukh to deposit Rs 1 lakh as surety and the bail will come into effect only on October 13, 2022. The agency sought a stay on the operation of the order for two weeks.
The Bombay High Court on Tuesday granted bail to Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh in an alleged money laundering case registered against him by Enforcement Directorate (ED).
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However, Deshmukh will continue to be in jail as he's also being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in a separate case.
The court directed Deshmukh to deposit Rs 1 lakh as surety and the bail will come into effect only on October 13, 2022. The court, however, stayed the order till October 13 to enable the ED to file an appeal against bail.
Two components of credits in the account of a trust controlled by the Deshmukh family, flagged by the ED, were not "proceeds of crime," the court noted in the order.
The ED claimed that Deshmukh misused his official position and collected Rs 4.70 crore from various bars and restaurants in Mumbai. The money was channelled 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 favour of the applicant (Deshmukh)," the court said.
He was also 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 if he is ailing.
The high court instructed that Deshmukh shall not tamper with evidence when released. He shall attend the trial on every date and surrender his passport, it added.
This comes after the Supreme Court last month directed the Bombay High Court to decide the 72-year-old Deshmukh's bail plea expeditiously as it was pending since March 2022. Deshmukh was arrested by the ED in November 2021 and is currently in judicial custody.
The ED had initiated a probe against Deshmukh and his associates after the CBI filed its FIR against the NCP leader on April 21 this year on charges of corruption and misuse of official position.
The ED's case is that Deshmukh, while serving as the state's home minister, misused his official position and through now-dismissed cop Sachin Waze collected Rs 4.70 crore from various bars and restaurants in Mumbai. The money was allegedly laundered to Nagpur-based Shri Sai Shikshan Sanstha.
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Deshmukh had refuted these allegations earlier and said the agency's whole case was based on malicious statements made by a tainted cop (Waze). The ED has so far arrested two persons in the case Sanjeev Palande (an additional collector rank official who was working as Deshmukh's private secretary) and Kundan Shinde (Deshmukh's personal assistant).