The Bombay high court on Tuesday refused to quash the non-bailable warrant (NBW) issued by a special court against Pankaj Bhujbal, son of NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal, in the Maharashtra Sadan scam and related money laundering cases.
The court, however, extended till June 10 the interim protection from arrest granted to Bhujbal by a vacation bench earlier last month, to enable him to approach an appropriate forum for relief.
In April, a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court had issued NBWs against Bhujbal and several others.
Bhujbal had first directly approached the Supreme Court to challenge the NBW. The SC declined to entertain his plea and asked him to approach the “appropriate forum.”
On Tuesday, Bhujbal argued before the high court that the NBW against him was “illegal” because ED had never tried to summon or arrest him.
Justice Sadhna Jadhav refused to grant Bhujbal any relief saying that as per the SC order and the existing law, in cases of money laundering, the accused person must first challenge the NBW before the court that has issued the warrant.
Bhujbal argued he feared he would be arrested as soon as he appeared before the PMLA court to challenge the NBW. He also argued that since a vacation bench of the high court had heard his plea against the NBW, he must be permitted to make a representation before high court.
Justice Jadhav thus, granted him time till June 10 to approach a division bench of the high court.