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"The offence with which the applicant is charged with is punishable with imprisonment upto 7 years but not with life or death. There are no criminal antecedents reported against the applicant. Having regard to the totality of the circumstances, in my opinion, the applicant can be released on bail...", the High Court had observed in the impugned order.
A CJI Chandrachud led bench of the Supreme Court today dismissed the Central Bureau of Investigation's plea challenging the bail granted to NCP Leader Anil Deshmukh in a corruption case registered against him.
The CJI noted that the order dismissing the SLP filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) challenging the bail granted to Deshmukh in a money laundering case, would apply to the present case as well.
On Friday, the Court had said that it would hear CBI's plea on Monday i.e., January 23, 2023, as the SG was unavailable then.
Notably, an FIR was registered by CBI, against Deshmukh, for the offences under Section 7 of the Prevention of the Corruption Act, 1988 and under Section 120-B of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
In December last year, the High Court had ordered that Deshmukh be released on bail, on furnishing P.R. Bond in the sum of Rs.1,00,000 with one or more sureties in the like amount.
The High Court had also asked Deshmukh to report to the office of the CBI on every Tuesday, between 10.00 a.m. to 12.00 noon for a period of one month from the date of his release and thereafter, to the office of the CBI on every alternate Tuesday, between 10.00 a.m. and 12.00 noon, for the next three months.
"The applicant is no more the Home Minister and therefore, there is no question of his influencing the investigation. The charge-sheet in respect of the two other facets as spelt out by the CBI is yet to be filed and therefore, there is no question of the trial concluding any time soon in the near future. The CBI may proceed with the investigation but not at the cost of continued incarceration of the applicant", a bench of Justice MS Karnik had noted in the order.
An FIR was registered against Deshmukh on April 24, 2021, on charges of corruption and misconduct following an inquiry that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had conducted in compliance with the high court's order in a plea filed by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh.
Also, the Bombay High Court had in 2021 refused to quash the FIR lodged by the CBI against Deshmukh. Court had then observed, "The agency can legitimately probe the reinstatement of Waze after 15 years only to the extent that it links with the probe in the Rs 100 crore corruption case against Deshmukh."
Case Title: CBI vs. Anil Deshmukh
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