The special court on November 6 had rejected the ED’s demand for the custody of the Nationalist Congress Party leader and instead sent him to judicial custody.
The ED challenged the special court order in the high court claiming the special court order “had denied the agency sufficient and adequate opportunity to investigate a case that had wide and serious ramifications”.
A vacation bench of Justice Madhav Jamdar was told by the agency that the special court order was “bad in law and against the principles of natural justice”.
Additional solicitor general Anil Singh, arguing for the ED, said: “The sessions judge ought to have appreciated that investigation in cases of colossal frauds and money laundering, like the present one, cannot be expected to be completed within a short span of time. Sufficient opportunity has to be given to the investigating agency to probe the entire case so that the agency can collect sufficient quality evidence to get to the root of the matter.”
Singh further argued that the five days of ED custody that Deshmukh was initially sent to was not sufficient as the former Maharashtra minister was arrested in a money laundering case of several crores of rupees. “Two out of the five days were bank and Diwali holidays. It is most humbly submitted that it is practically impossible to investigate in such a short period of time,” said Singh.
Deshmukh’s counsel Vikram Chaudhri said his “client consents and is volunteering to be interrogated” by the ED.