Mumbai: Sufficient evidence against Anil Deshmukh, CBI tells HC while opposing bail plea

The central agency filed its affidavit in reply to Deshmukh's bail plea.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Friday, November 11, 2022, 08:28 PM IST
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Mumbai: Sufficient evidence against Anil Deshmukh, CBI tells HC while opposing bail plea | PTI

Mumbai: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has opposed the bail application of former home minister Anil Deshmukh stating that there is enough evidence against him to establish his involvement in the offence of corruption, extortion and conspiracy. 

The central agency filed its affidavit in reply to Deshmukh's bail plea. Deshmukh has challenged the order of the special court rejecting his bail plea last month in the corruption case registered by the CBI. 

4 Judges have till date recused from hearing Deshmukh's case

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had arrested Deshmukh last November in an alleged money laundering case. Subsequently,  he was arrested by the CBI in April this year. 

On Friday, his advocates Inderpal Singh and Aniket Nikam mentioned his bail plea before Justice Bharti Dangre, who recused herself from hearing the case without giving any reasons. 

Nikam then mentioned the plea before Justice SK Shinde who directed that the plea be mentioned on November 14. 

Even earlier, three judges of the HC - Justices Revati Mohite Dere, PD Naik and Bharti Dangre - had recused themselves from hearing Deshmukh's bail plea in the money laundering case. 

Deshmukh's bail in money laundering case on Oct 4

He was granted bail by Justice NJ Jamadar in the money laundering case on October 4.

The affidavit filed by CBI deputy superintendent of police Mukesh Kumar contended: "There are serious allegation of corruption, extortion and criminal conspiracy against the applicant. The grant of bail to the applicant in PMLA cannot be a fait accompli to enlarge him on bail in the present case." 

It has further said that the ED case against the former minister has no bearing on its corruption case. Hence, he cannot seek benefit of the HC order granting him bail in the ED case.

The Central agency has said that the ED case is under the PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) and it is "not an offshoot" of the present case. "It is a separate and distinct offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act and must be considered in that perspective," said the CBI. 

Deshmukh says Vaze's statement unreliable

The NCP leader had contended that the prosecution cannot rely on statements of dismissed cop Sachin Vaze, who was initially an accused in the case. Later he was granted pardon by the special court and made an approver (prosecution witness) in the case. 

Opposing the argument, the CBI said: "The evidence of an approver is at par with the evidence of a prosecution witness once he is tendered pardon and cannot be discredited at the stage of bail." 

Also, Vaze's confessional statement is corroborated by the statement of (retired police official) Sanjay Patil. 

The CBI affidavit read: "A conjoint reading of the two statements leave no ambiguity or doubt that it was the applicant (Deshmukh) at whose instance monies were extorted from bar owners. WhatsApp chat transcripts between Sanjay Patil and Param Bir Singh further corroborates the afore said facts." 

The central agency has alleged that the NCP leader did not cooperate with the investigation despite notices issued to him.

"The court cannot go into the credibility and reliability of statements of witnesses, which can be considered only at the stage of trial," said CBI affidavit, adding: "At the stage of consideration of bail, court cannot conduct a mini trial or roving enquiry."

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