Mumbai: Former home minister Anil Deshmukh has claimed before the Bombay high court that the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) case against him depends on assumptions and however the original charge was of him collecting ₹100 crores, the agency has been able to track the money trail of barely ₹1.70 crores.
A single-judge bench of justice N J Jamadar on Tuesday started hearing his bail application documented through advocates Aniket Nikam and Inderpal Singh.
Senior advocate Vikram Chaudhari, appearing for Deshmukh, contended that the case of ED depended on assumptions and the assertion of one more denounced Sachin Waze who himself had been accused of seven-eight serious crimes.
Deshmukh, a Nationalist Congress Party leader, further said the proclamations of a few blamed recorded by the ED were doubtful, particularly that of Waze who had said that he was following up in the interest of number one which was presumed to be him. The “number one” ought to have been former Mumbai police commissioner Parambir Singh, yet the agency had given him a red-carpet treatment as he was their blue-eyed boy, Deshmukh said.
Chaudhari inferred that Deshmukh was 73 years of age and was experiencing different diseases, including lung and spinal issues. The bench was informed that the maximum sentence for the supposed crime was seven years’ imprisonment, and as the NCP leader had previously been in prison throughout the last 11 months and the trial in the PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) case was not prone to start at any point soon, he should be granted bail. Additional solicitor general Anil Singh will contend for the benefit of the ED on Wednesday.
Deshmukh, who was arrested in a tax evasion case enrolled by the ED in November last year, had moved toward the HC after a special PMLA court dismissed his bail application in March.
Nonetheless, when his request came ready for hearing before the HC on March 25, the task of justice Anuja Prabhudesai, who was hearing the application, changed and the application went before the bench of justice Bharati Dangre who recused from hearing it on June 9. From that point, it preceded justice Jamadar on July 1, yet as the task changed before fulfillment of the hearing, it went before justice P K Chavan, who excessively recused from hearing the matter on September 5.
Deshmukh on Monday complained to the Supreme Court that the defer in hearing his bail supplication was causing him bias following which the apex court directed the HC to quickly hear his application.