Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Friday refused to modify conditions of 'protection from arrest' granted to Rajya Sabha MP and real estate developer Sanjay Kakade, accused of helping former Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal with money laundering.
Kakade had filed an anticipatory bail plea, and the high court had given him interim protection from arrest. It also imposed a condition that he would not leave the Bombay High Court's jurisdiction.
Kakade filed a fresh application saying being an MP and due to his business work he had to travel, so this condition be relaxed. Justice P M Deshmukh, however, today asked him to produce the itinerary of his business tours till July 1, and posted the matter for hearing on June 20.
Hiten Venegaonkar, Enforcement Directorate's lawyer, opposed Kakade's plea saying the condition imposed on him was to ensure his presence in the court.
According to the ED, Bhujbal paid Kakade Rs 28 crore in cash in return for cheques for the same amount. This was to convert Bhujbal's black money -- earned through bribes, etc., -- into 'white', it says.
ED has alleged that at least a dozen persons helped Bhujbal launder his money through their companies. All of them have challenged non-bailable warrants issued against them by the trial court and filed anticipatory bail applications, and the HC have given them interim protection from arrest.
Meanwhile, the division bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka today posted for hearing on June 20 the anticipatory bail application of Pankaj Bhujbal, Bhujbal's son, an accused in the same case as Bhujbal.
The interim protection given by the HC to Pankaj has expired. According to the ED lawyers, Pankaj therefore wants immediate relief from the High Court to avoid arrest.
Chhagan Bhujbal, a senior NCP leader, was the PWD minister during the Congress-NCP rule and is accused of taking kickbacks in construction of the state guesthouse 'Maharashtra Sadan' in Delhi and in some other contracts.