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Delhi High Court seeks CBI reply on bail plea of Anil Deshmukh’s lawyer in corruption case

Justice Yogesh Khanna issued notice on the plea and listed it for further hearing on September 27.

The Delhi High Court on Friday sought CBI’s reply on bail application of former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh’s lawyer Anand Daga in connection with a corruption case.

Justice Yogesh Khanna issued notice on the plea and listed it for further hearing on September 27.

Daga was arrested for allegedly trying to subvert the Bombay High Court-directed preliminary enquiry against Mr. Deshmukh.

Lawyer Tanveer Ahmed Mir appeared for Daga before the high court.

On September 8, a Special CBI court in New Delhi had rejected Daga’s bail application, saying that the investigation was still inconclusive and recoveries made during investigation connected him with alleged offence.

Special Judge Vimal Kumar Yadav had noted that the accused himself was a lawyer and was well-acquainted with the legal process and that it could not be ruled out that he may try to scuttle or influence the investigation which was not confined to a particular geographical area.

“Therefore, considering the entire gamut of facts and circumstances, the accused does not deserve to be considered for bail at this stage,” the judge had said, adding that Daga was “facing allegations of serious nature”.

The CBI had registered a case against its sub-inspector Abhishek Tiwari and the Nagpur-based advocate, besides others on various allegations, including illegal gratification.

A report of the preliminary enquiry (PE) purportedly giving clean chit to Mr. Deshmukh was leaked earlier causing embarrassment to the agency.

The CBI started a probe into the leakage in which it emerged that findings of the PE were influenced.

“Attempts by Anil Deshmukh’s team were in contempt of the Bombay High Court which had directed that all concerned should fully cooperate with the CBI while conducting the PE. In this case it has appeared that Deshmukh’’s team tried to subvert the PE,” the CBI had said.

The CBI then started a PE on the orders of the Bombay High Court which had issued the direction while hearing a public interest litigation on allegations of corruption against Mr. Deshmukh.

In the FIR, the CBI had booked Mr. Deshmukh and others unidentified under IPC sections related to criminal conspiracy and sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act for “attempt to obtain undue advantage for improper and dishonest performance of public duty”.

Allegations against Mr. Deshmukh had surfaced after the removal of Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh.

He was removed after the role of policeman Sachin Vaze surfaced in the case of an explosive-laden SUV which was found parked outside the residence of industrialist Mukesh Ambani. Vaze was arrested by the NIA.

In his letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Singh had alleged that Mr. Deshmukh had asked Vaze to extort over ₹100 crore a month from bars and restaurants of Mumbai, they said.

The FIR alleged that Mr. Deshmukh “and others” exercised undue influence over the transfer and posting of officials.

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