A special court on Mumbai on Tuesday rejected a plea filed by former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh seeking 'default bail' in an alleged money laundering case.
Deshmukh was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on November 2, 2021, and is currently in judicial custody.
In his application, the Nationalist Congress Party leader had said the special court for Prevention of Money Laundering Act cases did not take cognisance of the prosecution complaint (charge sheet) filed by the ED before remanding him in further judicial custody.
As the cognisance was not taken in the stipulated period of 60 days from the arrest, he should get bail by default (on technical grounds) under section 167 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the plea said.
The ED opposed this argument, saying the charge sheet had been filed within the stipulated time.
Special judge RN Rokade on Tuesday rejected the NCP leader's plea.
As per section 167, if a charge sheet is not filed and its cognisance not taken within 60 days, the accused can seek default bail.
But the central agency's contention was that the question of court taking cognizance of charge sheet was not pertinent.
Default bail cannot be considered once the principal charge sheet and a supplementary one had been filed in time, it added.
The ED had on December 29, 2021, filed a 7,000-page supplementary charge sheet against Deshmukh and his sons.
It had earlier filed a charge sheet against 14 others including Deshmukh's private secretary (an additional collector-rank officer) Sanjeev Palande and personal assistant Kundan Shinde.
The ED launched a separate probe against Deshmukh after the Central Bureau of Investigation registered a case against the senior NCP leader in April 2021 on the charges of corruption.
The ED's case is that while serving as Maharashtra home minister, Deshmukh, through (now dismissed) police official Sachin Waze, collected Rs 4.70 crore from various bars in Mumbai.
Deshmukh and his family members owned several shell companies which were used to launder this money and divert it to educational trusts controlled by the family, the ED alleged.
Waze, an assistant police inspector with Mumbai Crime Branch, was arrested in March 2021 in the Antilia bomb scare and Mansukh Hiran murder case.
Following Waze's arrest, then Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh was transferred.
Singh then accused Deshmukh of asking the police officers to collect Rs 100 crore a month from bars and restaurants in Mumbai.
Deshmukh, while denying these allegations, resigned as minister.