Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday granted bail to Sanjeev Palande, personal secretary to former home minister Anil Deshmukh, in the alleged corruption case registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Justice MS Karnik granted him bail against surety of Rs1 lakh and directed him not to leave the city. Earlier, on Dec 20, 2022, Justice NJ Jamadar granted bail to Mr Palande in the alleged money laundering case registered against him by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). Justice Jamadar had noted the “prosecution version, which heavily draws upon the statements of Sachin Waze (dismissed police officer) to rope in the applicant (Palande) appears fragile.” He has been in jail since his arrest by the ED in June 2021.
While granting bail, the HC noted that Mr Deshmukh, who is the prime accused in the case, has been released on bail. His bail was also upheld by the Supreme Court on Jan 23.
Shekhar Jagtap, Advocate for Palande, had argued that his client had not committed the crime and opposed the corruption allegations levelled by the CBI. He also argued that Mr Palande was already granted bail in the ED case.
Referring to the HC bail order in the money laundering case, Mr Jagtap said that it was observed that as a “public servant”, Mr Palande appears to have roots in society and “does not pose a flight risk”. Even the special court trying cases under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) had noted that there was no material against Palande, he added.
Initially, only Mr Deshmukh was named by the CBI in the FIR. Mr Palande was roped in only in April 2021 when he was arrested in the case, added Mr Jagtap.
The CBI opposed the bail. However, the HC granted him relief on the same conditions which were imposed on Mr Deshmukh. The ED had initiated a probe against the ex-minister and his associates after the CBI filed its FIR in 2021 based on allegations by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh.
The IPS officer had alleged Mr Deshmukh had asked Mr Waze to collect up to Rs100 crore for him from Mumbai bars and restaurants, and that Palande had also conveyed these demands to Waze and other police officers.
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