A special court, on Wednesday, granted bail to Shiv Sena Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) Pratap Sarnaik’s close associate and Thane builder Yogesh Deshmukh in a money laundering case connected to the National Spot Exchange Limited (NSEL) scam. The order was stayed by the court till August 18 after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) made a plea to be able to challenge it.
Deshmukh was arrested on April 6 this year. In the second bail plea, his advocate argued that no progress had been made in the probe since the last bail application was rejected, which cited hindrance if he was released. It also pointed out that Deshmukh consented to making the attachments by the ED absolute by withdrawing his objection to them.
Special judge Dinesh E Kothalikar, while granting the builder the relief, noted that no progress had been made in the investigation and the co-accused had been given protection from arrest. It also noted that Deshmukh had given his consent to making the attachments absolute. It said all these circumstances would weigh in his favour.
It noted that he has been in custody since April 6. After he was remanded in judicial custody, there was no progress in the investigation to justify further detention.
While rejecting the first bail plea, the court had said that it found prima facie material against him. During the probe, it did not find it safe to exercise discretion in his favour. Judge Kothalikar noted that the earlier order had recorded that an arrest was to take place. Hence, his release would hamper the probe. It considered the statement of Deshmukh’s advocate that no notice was issued in connection to it after the rejection of the plea.
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