Bhujbal fails to get bail in Maharashtra Sadan case

A Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Mumbai on Friday rejected the bail petition of former Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, who is facing charges of money laundering in connection with the Maharashtra Sadan scam.

Bhujbal, 69,  had sought bail on health grounds saying he had multiple problems, including diabetes, blood pressure, chronic asthma and blockages in the heart.

The senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader pleaded that he was in custody for nearly two months and was suffering from multiple health problems for which he needed to undergo treatment.

Designated Judge of PMLA court P R Bhavake however rejected the bail petition after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) objected saying investigations were still on and he was getting proper treatment in a government hospital.

 Bhujbal was arrested on 14 March by the ED on the charge of money laundering in the Maharashtra Sadan scam.

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) had filed a First Information Report against Bhujbal after it found irregularities in construction of Maharashtra Sadan in Delhi which was built at a cost of Rs100 crore. It is alleged that the contractor has given kickbacks to Bhujbal.

Another FIR was also filed by the ACB against Bhujbal in which it is alleged that he had received kickbacks in awarding the contract of State central library in Kalina campus of Mumbai University.

ED lawyer Purnima Kantharia opposed Mr. Bhujbal's bail saying the diseases cited by Bhujbal in the bail petition are not new and he has been living with them for the last 15 years. He has been given proper medical treatment and the prosecution would provide the best medical doctors to treat him, she said.

Bhujbal is currently lodged in Central Prison at Arthur Road in Mumbai along with his nephew and former MP, Sameer who was also arrested in the same case on similar charges.