The Bombay High Court on Thursday directed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to submit a report regarding its probe against former Maharashtra deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal and his family members on money laundering charges. A division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice M S Sonak was hearing a PIL filed by activist Anjali Damania levelling allegations of money laundering and misappropriation of funds against Bhujbal and his family members.
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The high court had earlier directed the Maharashtra Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) and ED to look into the allegations and take appropriate action. Based on this, the ACB registered three FIRs against Bhujbal and the ED also registered case of money laundering and arrested Bhujbal on March 14 this year. Bhujbal’s nephew Sameer was also arrested later.
Damania’s lawyer Vijay Hiremath argued that the ED is yet to arrest several other accused in the money laundering case. “We are concerned about this money laundering case. You (ED) file a report giving all details about this case. Who have been arrested, who are on the run, who have been accused and so on,” Chief Justice Chellur said.
The ED will have to submit its report in three weeks. Meanwhile, another bench of the high court posted for hearing on November 22 a petition filed by Bhujbal claiming that he has been illegally detained by the ED.
Bhujbal, who is presently in judicial custody, earlier this week withdrew his petition challenging the constitutional validity of provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The senior NCP leader today filed a fresh petition seeking bail and challenging his detention. A division bench headed by Justice R V More asked the ED to respond to this petition on November 22.