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  Metros   Mumbai  06 Aug 2017  Bhujbal allowed to challenge 3 from becoming approvers

Bhujbal allowed to challenge 3 from becoming approvers

THE ASIAN AGE. | SHAHAB ANSARI
Published : Aug 6, 2017, 1:52 am IST
Updated : Aug 6, 2017, 1:52 am IST

Naik was the brain behind the entire gamut of laundering operations of the Bhujbal group.

Bhujbal when he came to the Assembly earlier this year.
 Bhujbal when he came to the Assembly earlier this year.

Mumbai: The special PMLA court has allowed former deputy chief minister of Maharashtra and NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal's application to intervene in the applications filed by three co-accused in the alleged money laundering case, expressing their desire to turn approver and seeking pardon.

Co-accused Sunil Naik (chartered accountant), Sudhir Salaskar and Amit Balraj have made almost similar applications, saying they have cooperated with the investigating agency and have given full details and relevant facts of the offence, which helped the Enforcement Directorate (ED) build up a strong case against the accused. They further claimed that initially they were treated as witnesses, but later they were shown as accused in the prosecution complaint. They have also stated that they are ready to make full, true and voluntary disclosure of all relevant facts available to their knowledge and have sought pardon from the court.

Naik has additionally stated that on February 2, 2016, a magistrate court, while deciding Sameer Bhujbal's remand application, had addressed him as a witness. According to him, he has been provided with police protection, which shows that the he is being treated as prosecution witness and hence has sought pardon from the court.

On the other hand, Advocate Shalabh Saxena, on behalf of Bhujbal, filed an intervention application so that he could oppose the plea seeking pardon. This application was allowed on Saturday.

Though applicants had objected to Bhujbal’s plea seeking to intervene in the matter saying co-accused does not have locus to oppose plea seeking pardon, however, advocate Saxena argued that in light of Supreme Court's guidelines co-accused could oppose such applications.

According to Bhujbal’s application, the prosecution has claimed that, being a chartered accountant; Naik was the brain behind the entire gamut of laundering operations of the Bhujbal group. He also contended that Naik's entire application relies on false statement that he was being treated as prosecution witness by the prosecution.

Tags: chhagan bhujbal, money laundering case, enforcement directorate (ed)