Ex-Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh seeks one-day bail. Here’s why

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Former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh was arrested in November last year by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with charges of money laundering against him.

Former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh on Friday moved a special court in Mumbai seeking a one-day bail to cast his vote in the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections, news agency PTI reported. The plea has been filed a day after the former minister along with two of his aides was named in a chargesheet filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in a corruption case

The 72-year-old Nationalist Congress Party leader was arrested in November last year by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with charges of money laundering against him. 

“Being a standing MLA, the applicant (Deshmukh) is a member of the Electoral College for election of members to the Rajya Sabha. The applicant is desirous to exercise his franchise and cast his vote,” PTI quoted the application said. 

It added that the voting would take place inside the Vidhan Bhawan amid heavy police deployment hence there would be no hurdle of the lack of police escort. Special judge KK Patil, hearing cases related to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), directed the ED to file its reply to Deshmukh’s plea and posted the matter to be heard on Monday. 

Deshmukh, his personal assistant Kundan Shinde and personal secretary Sanjeev Palande are currently lodged in Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail in a money laundering case being probed by the ED.

The CBI in its statement had said that during preliminary inquiry, it was found that the accused and his two aides attempted to  “obtain undue advantage for improper and dishonest performance of their public duties”. The probe agency also accused the trio of exercising undue influence over the transfers and postings of police officers. 

In April last year, the CBI had registered an FIR against Deshmukh and others on the basis of corruption charges levelled by former Mumbai top cop Param Bir Singh. 

On March 20 last year, Singh in a letter to Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray alleged that Deshmukh instructed certain police officers including dismissed assistant police inspector Sachin Waze to collect 100 crore from restaurants and bars in the city every month. Although, the NCP leader denied the charges but had to resign after the Bombay high court directed the central probe agency to register a case against him.

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