However, the ASG Anil Singh said the apex court had struck down only two of the several provisions of section 45.
Mumbai: Enforcement Department (ED) on Thursday opposed the bail plea filed by Sameer Bhujbal before the Bombay high court. ED argued that Mr Bhujbal had played a direct role in the offence of money laundering and was aware of all the illegalities and therefore he should not get bail.
A vacation bench of Justice Ajay Gadkari was hearing the application filed by Bhujbal, who has sought bail on grounds of parity, as his uncle Chhagan Bhujbal was granted bail in the same case on May 4.
Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, who appeared for the ED, told the court that Bhujbal was aware of all the illegalities. The court should reject his bail plea as money laundering was a serious offence and his actions adversely affected the “financial health” of the country.
Bhujbal’s lawyer Vikram Chaudhary said, “Bhujbal was the only one among the 53 who is still in prison.” He cited a 2017 order of the Supreme Court, which struck down a part of section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), which imposed stringent conditions on bail.
However, the ASG Anil Singh said the apex court had struck down only two of the several provisions of section 45. The watering down of section 45 did not apply to the main offence of money laundering but only to related offences, the Singh argued.
However, Justice Gadkari said the central agency had failed to satisfy the court and granted the ASG more time to make further arguments.