Former home minister of state Anil Deshmukh has moved a special court for default bail claiming that the court had extended his judicial custody on Dec 27 beyond the 60-day period after his arrest that ended on Jan 1, when it is yet to take cognizance of the charge sheet against him.
In a pre-cognizance stage, his plea said, remand could not be granted beyond a period of 60 days and hence that he is entitled to bail.
The senior Nationalist Congress Party leader was arrested on Nov 2 in a money laundering case. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Dec 29 filed a supplementary charge sheet against him and his two sons in the case. The politician’s plea filed through advocate Aniket Nikam said that the court had not recorded any satisfaction regarding completion of investigation on perusal of the charge sheet.
The application said that on Dec 27, the ED had ‘surreptitiously’ sought his custody without informing the court that the 60-days end on Jan 1. The court had remanded him in further judicial custody till Jan 9. “The remand of the applicant to custody beyond the 60 days is non-est in the eyes of law,” it said.
Deshmukh’s plea contended that mere filing of the charge sheet cannot be construed as the conclusion of the probe as the court has ample powers to direct further investigation, instead of taking cognizance of the charge sheet. Hence, in the pre-cognizance stage, there was a statutory embargo on extending his custody beyond the 60-day period.
He said, thus, on completion of the 60-day period on Jan 1, an indefeasible right accrued to him to secure bail.
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