Protection from arrest to two more persons in Chhagan Bhujbal case

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court today gave interim protection from arrest to two businessmen, alleged associates of the former Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, in a money-laundering case.

Yesterday, the HC had given similar relief to seven others in connection with the cases registered against Bhujbal who is currently in jail.

Justice Ajay Gadkari today restrained the police from arresting, till May 25, Sailesh Mehta and Dhanpat Seth of Prime Developers who are facing charges of money laundering along with Bhujbal in the Maharashtra Sadan scam and some other matters.

All these persons -- Mehta, Seth and others -- have challenged the non-bailable warrants issued by a special court and also sought pre-arrest bail from the High Court. The court, while adjourning hearing on pre-arrest bail pleas, gave them protection from arrest till May 25.

Yesterday, the HC had given interim protection to Sanjiv Jain, Praveen Jain, Chandrakant Sarda, Jagdish Purohit, Rajesh Mistry, Vipul Karkaria and Asif Balwa.

According to the Enforcement Directorate, these businessmen conspired with Bhujbal to divert the kickbacks received by him through their companies. The applicants argued that the offences with which they have been charged with are non-cognisable ones, and warrants could not have been issued against them at this stage as they were not arrested during the interrogation.

Besides Bhujbal, his nephew Sameer Bhujbal too has been arrested on money laundering charges.

On March 30 this year, ED filed a 11,500-page charge-sheet naming Chhagan Bhujbal, his son Pankaj Bhujbal, nephew Sameer Bhujbal and corporates like D B Realty, Balwa group of companies, Neelkamal Realtors, Neelkamal Central Apartment LLP and Kakade Infrastructure.

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