IN ITS detailed order rejecting bail to former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh’s personal secretary Sanjeev Palande, a special court has said that there is nothing to show that the co-accused — dismissed Mumbai Police officer Sachin Waze — had a personal grudge against him to falsely implicate him in a money laundering case.
The bail pleas of Palande and Kundan Shinde, Deshmukh’s private assistant, were rejected earlier this week. They were arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in July in connection with the money laundering case, where it was alleged that they had assisted Deshmukh in layering of money received as bribe from bar owners to operate smoothly amid the Covid-19 restrictions.
Palande had said in his plea that there is no evidence against him and that he was named by the ED due to “political enmity and vendetta”.
Special Judge M G Deshpande has said in his order that Palande has not been able to point out why Waze would implicate him in a false case.
“There is nothing to show that Mr Sachin Waze and the present applicant have any personal grudge or any past enmity. In short, there is nothing to show that the applicant has any enmity or rivalry or even a grudge with anyone from ED or police officers like Mr Sachin Waze. There is nothing to show that applicant had any past enmity with Mr Sachin Waze or against whosoever, either ‘No.1’ Mr Anil Deshmukh or Mr Param Bir Singh,” the court said.
It added that Palande is a Class I government worker and nothing has been shown to the court to prove that he is directly or indirectly involved in politics or had any enmity with any political leader or party.
Palande had said that ED has no evidence to show that he had any collusion with Deshmukh, apart from relying on Waze’s statement, which is not reliable since he is an accused in multiple cases. The court said that apart from Waze, statements have been made by two other policemen and other co-accused. It also said that demanding and collecting bribe is done secretly and it cannot be accepted that there is no direct evidence.
The court further said that there was no explanation why Palande’s appointment order was passed retrospectively, days after he joined work. It said that Palande himself had not denied being present at a meeting when Waze claimed he had met Deshmukh.
“It has to be noted that presence of the applicant in the said meeting is not denied, only purpose is disputed, which is a part of trial,” the court added.