SC unhappy with 8-month pendency of Anil Deshmukh's bail plea, cites Article 21
A top court bench said any person who has filed a bail application has a legitimate expectation that his plea will be disposed of at an early date. “Keeping an application for bail pending is not consistent with the Right to Life under Article 21,” it said.
The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Bombay high court to decide expeditiously the bail petition of former Maharashtra home minister and NCP leader Anil Deshmukh in a money laundering case. While expressing it's displeasure over the 8-month pendency of Deshmukh's petition, the apex court directed the HC to take a call by the end of this week.
It further clarified that it has not expressed any opinion on the merits of the case. Deshmukh was arrested in connection with a money laundering case.
A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Hima Kohli said Deshmukh's bail plea is pending in the high court since March 21.
“Any person who has filed a bail application has a legitimate expectation that his plea will be disposed of at an early date. Keeping an application for bail pending is not consistent with the Right to Life under Article 21," the bench said.
“We issue a direction and permit the petitioner to apply before the learned judge to whom the case has been assigned tomorrow. The application shall be taken for hearing during the course of this week and decided expeditiously,” it added.
Justice NJ Jamadar of the high court is hearing the bail plea of the former minister who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in November 2021 and is currently in judicial custody.