Mumbai: Two years after former deputy chief minister of Maharashtra and NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in a Rs 840 crore money laundering case, the Bombay High Court granted him bail on Friday on a cash surety of Rs 5 lakh.
Apart from Bhujbal, his son Pankaj and nephew Sameer are also accused in the case.
Sujay Kantawala, one of the lawyers representing Bhujbal said, "It’s a great relief. He should be out of jail by this evening. He will be cooperating with the investigations and visiting ED office as and when required.”
Bhujbal's lawyers had argued that he has been in jail for two years when the maximum punishment in the case is a punishment of seven years.
It was also argued before the court that since the Supreme Court had struck down section 45 of Prevention of Money Laundering Act, which required the accused to show that he is not involved in money laundering, his bail should be considered.
As per ED, Bhujbal along with his family members diverted and laundered kickbacks received when he was PWD minister of the state.
ED has so far attached properties worth over Rs 150 crore of the Bhujbal family, including bungalows, flats and office space in Mumbai, Nashik and Pune. The case is with respect to construction of Maharashtra Sadan in New Delhi and Kalina land grabbing case.
Earlier the PMLA court had rejected his bail application thrice after which he approached the High Court. His old age and his medical conditions were also mentioned in the bail application. He was hospitalised several times while he was in jail.