NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal moves HC for bail in money laundering case

He has sought bail after the declaration of section 45 of the Prevention of Money Lau-ndering Act (PMLA) as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

mumbai Updated: Jan 28, 2018 00:30 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
mumbai,Chhagan Bhujbal,NCP
Nationalist Congress Party leader Chhagan Bhujbal(Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)

Senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Chhagan Bhujbal, 71, accused of money laundering in the Maharashtra Sadan scam, has moved the Bombay HC seeking bail after the declaration of section 45 of the Prevention of Money Lau-ndering Act (PMLA) as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

Section 45 of PMLA restricts the granting of bail to any person booked for the offence.

Earlier, a PMLA court rejected his bail plea after the enforcement directorate (ED) opposed Bhujbal’s bail plea, claiming that he was influential and had already been alleged for threatening two co-accused for showing willingness to turn approver in the case.

In the fresh plea, Bhujbal’s lawyer Salabh Saxena has claimed that after the apex court’s order, several accused have been granted bail by the respective courts. Bhujbal has cited the case of Yogesh Mittal, booked for his role in a money laundering case in Delhi, and meat exporter Moin Qureshi, booked for having connection with hawala racket. Bhujbal has also made an emotional appeal over his age and health, claiming “he is unable to defend his case effectively or seek legal opinion.”

Bhujbal was arrested in March 2016 by the ED for money laundering. The agency claimed that the total money laundered was Rs857 crore but has managed to attach properties worth Rs156 crore only.

The ED, which is probing the case, said that Bhujbal and his associates misused their positions of power to cause governmental financial losses by sanctioning development projects. “The money has been laundered through the companies of Sameer Bhujbal and Pankaj Bhujbal as well as through other Bhujbal-controlled companies,” said the agency.

First Published: Jan 28, 2018 00:30 IST