The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday approached the Bombay High Court, seeking extension of the stay on an order granting bail to former Maharashtra minister Anil Deshmukh in a corruption case. Justice MS Karnik said he will hear the plea on Wednesday.
HC granted bail to Deshmukh last week
On Dec 12, Justice Karnik granted bail to Mr Deshmukh in the case registered by the CBI. However, the court 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 CBI 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.
CBI seeks extension, Deshmukh opposes
Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, appearing for the CBI, mentioned the matter before Justice Karnik and sought that the stay be extended till Jan 3. “This court had granted bail, but it was not to be effected. The SC doesn’t have a vacation bench unfortunately. So the order may be extended till Jan 3,” said Mr Singh.
Mr Deshmukh’s advocate Aniket Nikam opposed the application saying that there was a vacation registrar available in the apex court.
Justice Karnik said, “It was a question of someone’s liberty. You asked for seven days, I gave 10 days. You file an application with reasons, let them (Mr Deshmukh) get a chance to make their case.”
He then kept the application for hearing on Wednesday.
In a detailed order granting bail to Mr Deshmukh, the HC had observed that prima facie there is nothing but the statement of dismissed cop Sachin Vaze – whose tenure as a police officer has been “controversial” – to show that money was collected from bar owners at the NCP leader’s behest.
The court has also considered his age, 73 years, and ailments, some of which are classified as “de-generative”, and directed his release on furnishing surety of Rs1 lakh. He was directed to cooperate with the investigation.
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