The special MP and MLA court has asked the Enforcement Directorate to return the passports of former Home Minister Anil Deshmukh's sons, who are facing prosecution for money laundering. The court stated that merely being accused of money laundering cannot be the reason to retain their passports.
Deshmukh's sons, Salil and Hrishikesh, separately approached the special court for the return of their passports, which are deposited with the Enforcement Directorate.
Arguments laid out by the sons' lawyers
For Hrishikesh, the lawyer Inderpal Singh contended that he is pursuing a career in Real Estate and Logistic Business Management, requiring attendance at keynote presentations by renowned experts on the future of business management, emerging challenges, and innovative solutions. It was also argued that Hrishikesh has to attend and participate in hands-on workshops, training sessions, and an International Conference on logics in Artificial Intelligence to learn cutting-edge developments in the field.
Regarding Salil, it was argued that he is a leader of the Nationalist Congress Party and has been a member of Zilla Parishad since 2020. Singh stated, "As the applicant has a desire to explore his future career in politics, it is necessary to have an interaction with the youth of Katol. The applicant has to attend the party (NCP) meetings for the upcoming election to promote the party agenda amongst the youth all over Maharashtra to strengthen the organization."
ED objects to both applications
Both applications were objected to by the ED, stating that the reasons cited were not cogent. Besides, the agency mentioned that the accused did not cooperate with the investigating officer when summoned to appear.
The court, while allowing their pleas, observed that "the court has to consider the antecedents of the accused or suspected of the commission of the offence, the nature of the offence he is said to have committed, the necessity for his presence at the trial, and such other relevant factors. At the same time, the Court has to strike a balance between the personal liberty of the accused guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution and the interest of society as well as the rights of the prosecution."
It is not the case of the prosecution that the applicant has violated any of the conditions imposed by the Court while enlarging him on bail. The prosecution has not put forth any valid grounds for the rejection of the application.