The Bombay High Court on Wednesday rejected the bail plea of Maharashtra’s former PWD Minister Chhagan Bhujbal and dismissed his petition challenging the legality of his arrest under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Also, the special court for PMLA cases directed that 69-year-old Bhujbal be shifted back to Arthur Road jail from the J J Hospital.
The prison authorities had said Bhujbal refused to undergo angiography thrice after complaining of heart issues and his continued stay in the hospital would serve no purpose.
The High Court, which rejected Bhujbal’s bail plea, said he failed to show that his arrest was illegal. “He has further failed to show that the Special Court passed the remand order mechanically without application of mind,” said the division bench of Justices Ranjit More and Shalini Phansalkar.
Bhujbal had sought bail from the High Court on medical grounds. He also contended that his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) was not as per the procedure established by law. The NCP leader had filed a ‘Habeas Corpus’ petition, saying that his arrest was illegal.
Opposing the petition, the ED lawyer contended that Bhujbal, who was arrested on March 14 this year, had not filed such a plea earlier.
Bhujbal was arrested in the alleged Maharashtra Sadan scam and Kalina land case, where he and his relatives were alleged to have received kickbacks from private contractor.
He had challenged the constitutional validity of sections 19 and 45 of PMLA. Section 19 empowers the ED to arrest a person based on evidence gathered by it, while section 45 deals with bail.