The Special CBI Judge, Delhi, on Wednesday, dismissed the bail application of former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh's Lawyer, Anand Daga, in connection with a corruption case relating to leaking sensitive information about a case against Anil Deshmukh. The Nagpur-based Lawyer was arrested by the CBI last week and brought to Delhi on a transit remand.
Daga, currently in judicial custody, was arrested for allegedly trying to subvert the Bombay High Court-directed Preliminary Enquiry (PE) against the ex-minister. Special Judge Vimal Kumar Yadav note that it was evident that the investigation was still 'inconclusive' and that the recoveries made during the investigation connected the accused with the alleged offence.
Earlier, the CBI has seized mobile phones, laptops, computer hard disks, pen drives apart from other electronic records during searches made at the residential and office premises of the accused and its analysis is going on.
The Court also noted that the accused himself was a Lawyer and was well-acquainted with the legal process and that it could not be ruled out that he may try to scuttle or influence the investigation which was not confined to a particular geographical area.
While observing that Daga was "facing allegations of serious nature", the Judge stated in the order that, "Therefore, considering the entire gamut of facts and circumstances, the accused does not deserve to be considered for bail at this stage."
The accused had moved the bail application, claiming that no purpose will be served by keeping him in custody since he was not required for further custodial interrogation. The CBI had registered a case against its sub-inspector Abhishek Tiwari and Daga, besides others on various allegations, including illegal gratification. Tiwari too was taken into custody over the allegations of receiving graft from Daga.
A report of the Preliminary Enquiry (PE) purportedly giving clean chit to Deshmukh was leaked earlier, causing embarrassment to the agency. The CBI started a probe into the leakage, in which it emerged that findings of the PE were influenced.
"Attempts by Anil Deshmukh's team were in contempt of the Bombay High Court which had directed that all concerned should fully cooperate with the CBI while conducting the PE. In this case it has appeared that Deshmukh's team tried to subvert the PE," the CBI said.
The CBI had started a PE on the orders of the Bombay High Court, which had issued the direction while hearing a Public Interest Litigation on allegations of corruption against Deshmukh.
In the FIR, the CBI had booked Deshmukh and others unidentified, under IPC sections related to criminal conspiracy and sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act for "attempt to obtain undue advantage for improper and dishonest performance of public duty."
Allegations against Deshmukh had surfaced after the removal of Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, against whom an inquiry commission has issued bailable warrant on Wednesday. Even the Thane police had issued a lookout notice against him to prevent him from leaving the country.
The controversy erupted after the role of policeman Sachin Waze surfaced in the case of an explosive-laden SUV, which was found parked outside the residence of industrialist Mukesh Ambani. Waze was arrested by the NIA. In his letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Param Bir Singh had alleged that Deshmukh had asked Waze to extort over Rs 100 crore a month from bars and restaurants of Mumbai. The FIR alleged that Deshmukh and others exercised undue influence over the transfer and posting of officials.
With PTI inputs