Deshmukh’s bail should be decided soon

New Delhi, The Supreme Court on Monday expressed displeasure over the delay in hearing the bail application of former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, who was arrested in a money laundering case, and directed the Bombay High Court to hear the matter expeditiously.

The top court said that there is a reasonable expectation of any person who has applied for bail that his application will be disposed of at the earliest. The court held that the pendency of the bail application was not in consonance with the right to life under Article 21.

A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Hima Kohli said that Deshmukh’s bail application is pending in the High Court since March 21. The bench said that we issue directions and allow the petitioner to move the application tomorrow itself before the learned judge to whom the matter has been assigned (for hearing). This application should be heard this week and a decision should be taken on it soon. The top court clarified that it has not given any opinion on the merits of the matter.

The High Court judge is hearing the bail application of Justice NJ Jamdar Deshmukh. When the hearing began, Deshmukh’s (73) counsel Kapil Sibal told the apex court that the hearing on the bail application was being postponed. He sought interim bail for his client. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the ED, opposed the interim bail application and said that no such order should be passed by the apex court.

Deshmukh was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in November 2021 and is currently in judicial custody. On April 8, the high court had condemned the practice of seeking urgent hearing on bail applications citing emergency medical condition and adjourned the hearing on Deshmukh’s bail application.

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