Special Court in Mumbai today rejected a plea filed by former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh seeking default bail in an alleged money laundering case.

Deshmukh, an NCP leader, was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on November 2, 2021, and is currently in judicial custody.

In his application, Deshmukh contended that the Special Court for Prevention of Money Laundering Act cases did not take cognizance of the charge sheet filed by the ED before remanding him in further judicial custody.

Therefore, he was entitled to bail by `default' (on technical grounds), he said.

The ED opposed the plea saying the charge sheet had been filed within the stipulated time.

Special Judge R N Rokade rejected the NCP leader's plea.

The ED had on December 29, 2021 filed a 7,000-page supplementary charge sheet against Deshmukh and his sons. The agency had earlier filed a charge sheet against 14 people, including Deshmukh's private secretary (an additional collector-rank officer) Sanjeev Palande and personal assistant Kundan Shinde.

The Enforcement Directorate had launched a probe against Deshmukh and others after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed an FIR against the senior NCP leader in April 2021 on charges of corruption and misuse of official position.

The ED's case is that while serving as state home minister, Deshmukh allegedly misused his official position and through dismissed cop Sachin Waze, who is behind bars in the 'Antilia' bomb scare and Mansukh Hiran killing cases, collected Rs 4.70 crore from various bars in Mumbai.

As per the prosecution, Deshmukh and his family members owned several companies which were used to launder the money. Deshmukh, who resigned from the post of state home minister in April 2021, has repeatedly denied the charges against him.

With PTI inputs