Former Maha minister Anil Deshmukh released from prison
A special CBI court in Mumbai on Wednesday issued his release order after having been granted bail by the Bombay High Court
Former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh was released on bail from Mumbai's Arthur Road prison around 5 pm on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the Bombay High Court had refused to stay its order granting him bail in a corruption case registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation.
Deshmukh (73), a Nationalist Congress Party leader, had been in prison since November 2021 when the Enforcement Directorate arrested him in an alleged money laundering case.
"I have full faith in the judiciary....the high court has observed that I was implicated in a false case," Deshmukh said, as senior NCP leaders including Ajit Pawar welcomed him outside the jail.
A special CBI court in Mumbai on Wednesday issued his release order after having been granted bail by the Bombay High Court.
A vacation bench of the high court had on Tuesday rejected the Central Bureau of Investigation's plea seeking another extension on the stay to Deshmukh's bail order, thus paving the way for his release.
On Wednesday, special judge for CBI cases S M Menjoge issued a release memo after the completion of bail formalities.
Deshmukh was likely to walk out of the Arthur Road jail where he was in judicial custody by Wednesday evening, his lawyers said.
Justice M S Karnik had granted bail to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader on December 12, but stayed the order for ten days as the CBI sought time to challenge it in the Supreme Court.
The probe agency moved the apex court but the appeal would be heard only in January 2023 as the court is closed for vacation.
Last week, the high court had extended the stay till December 27 on the CBI's request.
On Tuesday, the central agency sought another extension.
Deshmukh's lawyers Aniket Nikam and Inderpal Singh claimed the CBI was trying to "overreach" the earlier order of the HC which had stated that under no circumstances would another extension be granted.
The high court, while granting bail to Deshmukh, had noted that except for dismissed police officer Sachin Waze's statement, no statement recorded by the CBI indicated that money was being extorted from bar owners in Mumbai at the behest of the NCP leader.
Deshmukh approached the high court after a special CBI court rejected his bail plea last month. He sought bail both on medical grounds and merits of the case.
In April this year, the CBI arrested him in a corruption case.
In October, the high court had granted him bail in the ED case.
Former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh in March 2021 alleged that Deshmukh, the then home minister, had given a target to police officers to collect Rs 100 crore per month from restaurants and bars in Mumbai.
Former assistant police inspector Waze, who was arrested in the case of an explosives-laden vehicle found near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's house in Mumbai last year, also levelled similar allegations.
The high court in April 2021 directed the CBI to carry out a preliminary inquiry.
Based on this inquiry, the CBI registered an FIR against Deshmukh and others for alleged corruption and misuse of official powers.
Published: 28 Dec 2022, 5:30 PM