MUMBAI: A special court here on Monday extended till April 16, the CBI custody of former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh, dismissed police officer Sachin Waze and two other accused in a corruption case, citing the progress in investigation so far and the nature of allegations against them.
Deshmukh, his two former aides - Sanjeev Palande and Kundan Shinde - and Waze were produced before special CBI judge D P Singhade at the end of their earlier remand.
The probe agency sought their remand for five more days, saying their custody was required for further probe into the matter.
During the period of (previous) custody, the accused were interrogated at length and confronted with each other besides witnesses in the case, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said.
However, the accused persons have not yet come out with complete truth in the case and they have mostly been evasive in their replies to allegations against them, Ratandeep Singh, special public prosecutor for the CBI, told the court.
Advocate Vikram Chaudhri, appearing for Deshmukh along with advocates Aniket Nikam and Inderpal Singh, opposed the CBI's remand extension plea and said "absolute lawlessness" is prevailing.
"The FIR (in the case) was recorded on 22nd April 2021. One year has elapsed. They issued a notice under section 41A (of CrPC) which is done when there is no intention to arrest. Was there a necessity to arrest?" Chaudhri argued.
After hearing extensive arguments put forward by both the sides, the court expressed satisfaction with grounds cited for seeking further custody.
"Considering the progress of investigation so far and taking into consideration the nature of allegations in the FIR, this court is satisfied that the grounds for further extension of CBI custody are satisfactory," the court held.
'Hence, the accused persons are required to be remanded in CBI custody for further investigation as prayed," the judge added.
On Deshmukh seeking rejection of remand extension plea on medical grounds, the court said the discharge summary shows the septuagenarian NCP leader has been discharged from the state-run JJ Hospital in Mumbai.
"As such, the medical ground is not sufficient to reject his CBI custody remand for the purpose of further investigation," the judge noted.
The court also extended the CBI custody of Deshmukh's co-accused.
Former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh had in March last year alleged that Deshmukh, then-home minister, had given a target to police officers to collect Rs 100 crore per month from restaurants and bars in the metropolis.
Deshmukh has denied the allegations.
The CBI had lodged an FIR after conducting a preliminary enquiry against Deshmukh following an order of the Bombay High Court in April 2021.
The NCP leader had resigned from the state cabinet after the HC order.