The Bombay high court on Wednesday dismissed the bail plea and a habeas corpus petition filed by former Maharashtra deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal challenging his detention over charges of money laundering.
A bench led by Justice Ranjit More read out the operative portion of the order saying that Bhujbal’s pleas were devoid of merit. The detailed order of the bench is likely to be made public by Wednesday evening.
Earlier last month, the bench had permitted Bhujbal to withdraw his petition challenging provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) under which he has been booked. Bhujbal had at the time sought liberty to file a fresh habeas corpus petition against his detention, claiming that his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate and subsequent detention were “illegal”.
Habeas corpus is a recourse in law whereby a person can report an unlawful detention or imprisonment before a court. Bhujbal was arrested on March 14 by ED on charges of money laundering.
After his arrest, he had approached the high court challenging the constitutional validity of Sections 19 and 45 of the PMLA. Section 19 empowers ED to arrest an accused based on evidence gathered by the agency against the individual, while section 45 deals with bail of the accused.