MUMBAI: Additional Sessions Judge HS Satbhai, who was hearing the applications of the Enforcement Directorate seeking remand of former Home Minister Anil Deshmukh in a money laundering case, has been transferred to Yavatmal district with immediate effect.
On Monday, the judge had rejected the plea by the NCP leader for home-cooked food and reasoned that Deshmukh should first taste the jail food. The former minister had sought the facility on the grounds that he is 73 and has several food restrictions on account of health concerns and ailments and had also recently been infected with coronavirus.
Confirming the news to the FPJ, MW Chandwani, registrar general of the High Court, said: “Yes, the order has been issued.”
Deshmukh was initially produced by the ED before a vacation judge. However, once the vacation was over, he was produced before Judge Satbhai for remand extension. In the same FIR, Anil Deshmukh's son Hrishikesh had moved an anticipatory bail application which was listed before Additional Sessions Judge MG Deshpande. Judge Deshpande had wondered as to how the remand in the same FIR, came up before judge Satbhai who held the charge for hearing "trials" against MPs and MLAs and not pre-trial applications. He had, therefore, directed ED to seek clarification from the principal judge of Sessions Court on the issue. Subsequently, the principal judge had clarified that Deshmukh's remand would lie with judge Satbhai only. Deshmukh was later remanded to judicial custody by Judge Satbhai, reports legal portal Bar and Bench.
The designated judge for trying cases under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and also cases against MPs and MLAs, Judge Satbhai, had recently discharged Maharashtra cabinet minister and NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal in the Maharashtra Sadan scam case which was being probed by the state Anti-Corruption Bureau. Along with Bhujbal, his son Pankaj, nephew Sameer and five others were cleared of all charges by the special judge.
He has also been hearing cases against NCP leader Eknath Khadse and Shiv Sena leader Anandrao Adsul. Whereas there are allegations against Khadse in a Pune land deal, Adsul is facing probe in an alleged bank fraud.
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