Court rejects interim relief to Bhujbal co-accused

May 13, 2016, 09:00 IST | Vinay Dalvi

The Enforcement Directorate had named Vinod Goenka, Asif Balwa and Sanjay Kakade in the charge sheet against Chhagan Bhujbal; they now face arrest

The Special Prevention of Money Laundering (PMLA) Court on Thursday rejected interim relief to Vinod Goenka, MD of D B Realty; Asif Balwa, brother of Shahid Balwa and promoter of Swan Telecom; and Sanjay Kakade, Member of Parliament from Pune and owner of Kakade Infrastructures, against all of whom, non-bailable warrants have been issued by the court. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had named all of them in their charge sheet filed against arrested accused Chhagan Bhujbal and Sameer Bhujbal. The three face arrest from ED.

The court will hear Bhujbal’s bail application on medical grounds today
The court will hear Bhujbal’s bail application on medical grounds today

The Special PMLA Court Judge PR Bhavake on April 28 had issued non-bailable warrants against all persons and companies named in the charge sheet. Around 34 non-bailable warrants were issued by the court and 24 summons to companies named in the charge sheet. The ED was directed to arrest and produce them before the court, which could decide whether to grant custody or let them off on bail. Non-bailable warrants were issued against Kakade, Sunil Naik, Balwa, Suresh Jagodoya, Pravin Jain, Sanjeev Jain, Krishna, Prasanna and Prashant Chamankar. Summons were also issued to Balwa Group of Companies, D B Realty, Kakade Infrastructures and Neelkamal Realtors.

ED claims all the people and companies that were named in the charge sheet had helped Bhujbal, some of them had bribed the Bhujbal family to get government contracts.

Senior counsel Amit Desai appeared for Kakade Infrastructures, Shirish Gupte for Asif Balwa and Harshad Ponda for Vinod Goenka.

All of them had submitted applications before the court for cancellation of warrants issued by the court and had cited several judgments saying the accused was not needed to be present for cancellation of warrants.
They had also stated that the Chamankar family, which was also issued a non-bailable warrant, had got relief from the Supreme Court for six weeks and, similarly, they should be also granted relief.

However, Judge Bhavake refused to give any relief. Pankaj Bhujbal, against whom a non-bailable warrant has also been issued, is yet to approach any court and seems to have adopted a wait-and-watch policy.

The court has extended the warrant date and kept it for June 13. The anticipatory bail application of Goenka was also kept for June 13.

Chhagan Bhujbal’s bail application (on medical grounds) will be heard today. The ED had registered two Enforcement Case Investigation Reports (ECIR) after the Anti-Corruption Bureau registered two cases against the Bhujbal family in the Maharashtra Sadan and Kalina land scam. The ED has alleged that around Rs 870 crore was laundered by the Bhujbal family to West Bengal through fake companies.

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