Anil Deshmukh Law Insider

Sakina Tashrifwala

Published on: 27 September 2022 at 14:47 IST

On Monday, the Supreme Court permitted former Maharashtra state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh to attend the Bombay High Court bench assigned to hear his bail appeal the next day. The Supreme Court ordered the High Court to hear the PMLA bail application within a week and render a prompt decision.

“The Court has been apprised of the fact that the case has now been assigned to Justice N.J. Jamadar. We permit the petitioner to apply before the Ld. Judge to whom the hearing of the application for bail has been assigned tomorrow. The application for bail would be taken up within the course of this week and disposed of expeditiously.”

In light of the fact that the Supreme Court had previously issued a similar order that the Bombay High Court did not comply with in its entirety, the bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and Hima Kohli said in the order:

“A similar order was passed by this Court on 31.05.2022. We find that the said order is yet to be implemented. We expect that this time around, the order of the court shall be duly attended to by taking a decision….”

It added –

“Every person who makes a bail application has a realistic expectation that the application would be processed expeditiously. We believe that keeping a bail application waiting for eight months violates Article 21’s essential principles of the right to life and liberty.”

Mr. Kapil Sibal, a senior advocate for Deshmukh, informed the bench that this bail motion has been pending in the Bombay High Court since March 21, 2022. When the matter was first brought up for hearing on March 25, the ED requested additional time. In light of this, it was postponed till April 8th. The case was then rescheduled for April 22, but was postponed until April 26 owing to lack of time.

Again, on the 26th of April, owing to a lack of time, it was postponed till the 27th. In the meantime, a petition was filed with the Supreme Court. On May 31st, it requested that the High Court promptly review the bail application. A High Court judge recused himself from hearing the bail application on June 9.

After that, the case was scheduled for July 1st and 5th. Finally, on July 11, the petition’s attorney debated the bail motion for two to three hours and ended his arguments. The case was then assigned to a different bench.

The case was then scheduled for the 28th of July and the 10th of August, when the Additional Solicitor General took a one-week recess. Eventually, there was a change in the schedule, and when the 5th of September rolled around, another judge recused himself from hearing the case.

Mr. Sibal, troubled by the fact that his client is 73 years old and sick, pleaded forcefully for temporary relief in light of the bail application being held in abeyance for over 8 months. The Bench instructed him to seek the relevant High Court Bench by tomorrow.

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