The Supreme Court on Monday declined to entertain a plea by CBI challenging bail granted by the Bombay High Court to former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh regarding a corruption case in connection with alleged illegal gratification sought from bar owners and corruption in police transfers and postings in Maharashtra.
A bench comprising Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said, “No, we are not interfering. SLP is dismissed.”
The bench, also comprising justices V. Ramasubramanian and J.B. Pardiwala, noted that Deshmukh has been granted bail in the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case in connection with the same set of transactions.
The CBI had moved the apex court challenging the high court order. The CBI contended that the high court failed to consider that socio-economic offences needed to be viewed differently, and that the accused still holds considerable clout in the state.
On October 11 last year, the apex court had upheld the Bombay High Court order granting bail to former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh in a money laundering case.
The high court had allowed Deshmukh’s bail plea in the money laundering case being probed by the ED. It had noted that dismissed cop Sachin Waze, who was co-accused in the case before he turned into an approver, statements lacked certainty. Waze had made a statement that an amount of Rs 1.71 crores was transferred during the months of February and March, 2021 allegedly extorted from the bar owners and handed over to Deshmukh’s personal assistant.
The CBI had booked Deshmukh and his associates for alleged corruption that took place between 2019 and 2021. In April 2021, the Bombay High Court issued directions for an inquiry in response to a petition filed by Param Bir Singh, former Commissioner of Mumbai Police. The ED initiated a case of money laundering against Deshmukh and arrested him.
Singh had accused him of trying to extort money from bar owners in the city via some police officials, including Waze. Also, claimed that he took money for transfers and postings of police officers.
In a letter written to then chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, Singh alleged Deshmukh had instructed certain cops, including Waze, to collect Rs 100 crore every month from owners of bars in Mumbai.