Thursday, February 2, 2023

Bombay High Court refuses bail to Chhagan Bhujbal

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By Neeta Kolhatkar in Mumbai 

The Bombay High Court on Thursday rejected the bailsought by NCP leaderChhagan Bhujbalon medical grounds.

Bhujbal is in jail after he was arrested on March 14 this year by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the Maharashtra Sadan scam.

The 69-year-old politicianhad sought bailfrom the High Court, sayingthat he was unwell and suffering from a serious heart ailment.While seeking bail, his counsel had also pointed out that the former Maharashtra minister had a history of life-threatening diseases.

The special PMLA court had earlier rejected Bhujbal’s bail plea on medical condition.

Bhujbalwas admitted to the St George Hospital, in Mumbaion March 18 after he fell sick in the Arthur Road prison.He was in the hospital for a week.

The ED in its argumentsaid that doctors at the governmenthospital had done their best in treating the accused.It informed the court that a panel of nine specialists had been formed for the purpose and itwas taking fullmedical care of Bhujbal.

All possible medical tests were done to ensure that there was no negligence, the ED pointed out.

Examining all the arguments of the prosecution and the defence, the High Court concluded that looking into the seriousness of the offense, where the person is involved in accepting kickbacks to the tune of Rs 840 crore for projectswhen he was a minister, and consideringthat investigations were still on, it would not be possible to grant him any relief.

Meanwhile,Bhujbal’s nephew, Sameer, who is considered the brain behind the scam, is also lodged in Arthur Road jail with his uncle, Chagan.

The Anti Corruption Bureau court has asked both to remain present at the next hearing.

ED has also filed a non-bailable warrant (NBW) against Bhujbal’s son, Pankaj, who has been trying to get the NBW quashed.

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