Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has extended till Dec 27 the stay on the effect of an order granting bail to former state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh in a corruption case registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Justice MS Karnik clarified that no further extension would be granted thereafter.
On Dec 12, Justice Karnik granted bail to Mr Deshmukh and said that the bail order will be effective after 10 days, as the CBI had sought time to challenge it in the Supreme Court (SC).
The central agency filed an appeal in the SC on Dec 16 but the plea would be heard only in Jan 2023 as the apex court is closed for Christmas vacation.
The 10-day period was to end on Dec 21. Hence, the CBI filed an application seeking extension on stay on the effect of the order.
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Anil Singh, appearing for CBI, urged the court to extend the stay saying, “…It will become infructuous after today, if no relief is granted. Courts have previously granted orders of extension on stay.” He added that had there been a vacation bench in SC, then they would have sought urgent hearing there.
Deshmukh’s Advocate, Aniket Nika, opposed the CBI’s application saying that it was “ pure abuse of law”.
He argued that the detailed bail order copy was available the same day, Dec 12. “The CBI has all the resources and they took four days to file a Special Leave Petition (SLP). There is a vacation Registrar (in SC). They don’t want to go before the Registrar because they do not think there is any urgency,” he added.
Mr Nikam also pointed out that the Central agencies had managed to get orders on a Saturday from the SC and even on Sunday from the Bombay HC.
Justice Karnik said, “If the remedy of approaching the vacation registrar is available, then why not avail it? If remedy would not have been available, then I would have considered. But then a remedy is available here.”
ASG then sought that they be given time till Dec 27, if not Jan 3. “We will try our luck before the Registrar. If nothing happens till Tuesday then so be it,” he said.
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