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Former Maha Home Minister released after a year

Former Maha Home Minister released after a year

Mumbai: Anil Deshmukh, a former home minister for Maharashtra who had been granted bail by the Bombay High Court in a corruption case, received his release order from a special CBI court on Wednesday.

The Central Bureau of Investigation's request for another extension of the stay on Deshmukh's bail order was denied on Tuesday by a vacation bench of the high court, clearing 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 here 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 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 another extension will 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 the merits of the case.

In April this year, the CBI arrested him in a corruption case.

In October, the high court 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.

With PTI inputs

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TAGS:MaharashtraAnil Deshmukh
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