HC throws out Bhujbal's 'illegal arrest' petition

Updated: Dec 15, 2016, 10:05 IST | Vinay Dalvi

After 40 days out on the lam, it may finally be time for Chhagan Bhujbal to return to Arthur Road Jail as the HC dismissed his Habeas Corpus petition

After 40 days out on the lam, it may finally be time for Chhagan Bhujbal to return to Arthur Road Jail as the HC dismissed his Habeas Corpus petition. The court also rejected his application for bail. Bhujbal had challenged his arrest on the grounds that the ED had not followed proper procedure while arresting him.

While dismissing the plea in a 149-page judgment, Justice Ranjit More said, “The petitioner (Bhujbal) is not some illiterate person, but an educated one, in the sense that he was a minister in the earlier state government.”

Bhujbal claimed that at the time of his arrest, he was not informed about the sections applied to make the arrest, but the judge observed that the arrest order bears Bhujbal’s signature of acknowledgement.

The judge also citied section 19(1) of the PMLA under which Bhujbal has been arrested, saying it does not state that the grounds of arrest have to be immediately revealed to the person being arrested. Bhujbal’s counsel Vikram Chowdhary had claimed that his detention was in violation of article 21 and 22 of the Indian Constitution (Protection of life and personal liberty and Protection against arrest and detention in certain cases).

Noting that Bhujbal earlier did not object to his arrest earlier and is only raising the issue now, Justice More said that there is sufficient material before the arresting authority to believe that the petitioner (Bhujbal) is guilty under PMLA.

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