The Bombay High Court today said it was not inclined to grant the interim relief sought by former Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal in a petition filed by him, challenging the constitutional validity of certain sections of Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
Bhujbal, who is presently in judicial custody after his arrest on March 14 by the Enforcement Directorate on charges of money laundering, sought the court to release him on bail pending hearing of the petition.
A division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice M S Sonak today, however, said the question of releasing the petitioner (Bhujbal) on bail does not arise as this petition is challenging the Act.
“How can this bench which is hearing this petition release you (Bhujbal) on bail? You will have to file a separate application seeking bail before the competent court.
So far as granting interim relief by way of releasing you from jail is concerned this court is declining it. We are not inclined to grant interim relief,” Chief Justice Chellur said.
The bench directed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to file its affidavit in response to Bhujbal’s petition and posted the petition for further hearing after six weeks.
Meanwhile, another bench of the high court directed the police commissioner of Mumbai to look into the reports submitted by the police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW) and state ACB to the court over allegations of misappropriation of Mumbai Education Trust funds by Bhujbal and his family.
The bench was hearing a petition filed by Sunil Karve, former founder trustee of Bhujbal’s Mumbai Education Trust, seeking registration of FIR against the NCP leader and his family members alleging that they have misappropriated funds of MET.
Earlier, both the EOW and ACB had submitted reports stating that they had not found any cognisable offence in the allegations levelled by Karve and that the jurisdiction in the matter lies with the Charity Commissioner.
A division bench of justices N H Patil and P D Naik directed the city police commissioner to take a look at both the reports (ACB and EOW) and take appropriate decision within two weeks.
( Source – PTI )