Bombay HC to hear ED plea against Sanjay Raut’s bail on Nov 25

The Bombay High Court on Friday posted to November 25 the hearing in a plea by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) against the special PMLA court order granting bail to Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut and his alleged aide Pravin Raut in connection with a money laundering case linked to a redevelopment project in the northern suburbs of Mumbai.

The ED had moved the high court soon after the special court granted bail to Raut on Wednesday, and sought cancellation of the same. The High Court on Wednesday refused to suspend the bail order and cleared the way for Raut’s release from jail. Thereafter, the plea was listed before a single-judge bench of Justice Bharati H Dangre on Thursday, which could not hear it due to paucity of time and listed it on Friday.

On Friday, Justice Dangre asked counsels of the parties if the matter can be heard on some other day. Senior advocate Aabad Ponda for Pravin Raut submitted that the ED had said it will add grounds based on findings in the order copy once made available and they should disclose if they want to do the same or not.

Thereafter, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, representing the ED, submitted that the agency wanted to add the grounds. The court said that it will grant liberty to the ED to do so and once it is done, the court wants to hear it properly and without breaks.

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ASG Singh said the special court order has observations having an adverse impact on various cases and the same are uncalled for. There are many orders having such adverse impact, Justice Dangre responded. Singh submitted that the ED will amend its application by Monday, November 14 and sought that hearing be granted next week.

Senior advocate Ashok Mundargi, representing Sanjay Raut, sought at least two weeks’ time to file a reply to the ED’s plea. The bench said it will give time to the respondents for the same and posted further hearing to November 25. However, as per the notice of assignments of HC judges issued on Friday, Justice Makarand S Karnik is assigned to hear pleas pertaining to cancellation of bail.