Bhujbal back in jail after lengthy hospital stay

Former Maharashtra minister Chhagan Bhujbal back in jail after hospital stay.

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Mumbai, Dec 14: Following a lower court order and rejection of bail plea by the Bombay High Court, former Maharashtra minister Chhagan Bhujbal was sent back to Arthur Road jail here from a government hospital. Bhujbal was sent to the Arthur Road Jail late tonight, said Dr T P Lahane, Dean of the J J Hospital.

The Bombay High Court today dismissed the NCP leader's plea seeking bail and challenging arrest under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). While the special PMLA court directed that he be shifted from hospital to Arthur Road jail. The jail authorities had told the PMLA court that Bhujbal, 69, had refused to undergo angiography thrice, and his continued stay in the hospital would serve no purpose.

Chhagan Bhujbal

High Court, which rejected Bhujbal's bail plea, observed that he had failed to show that his arrest is wholly illegal, null and void. Bhujbal had sought bail on medical grounds. He also said that his arrest by Enforcement Directorate (ED) was not as per the procedures established by law.

Bhujbal, whose stay at the private-run Bombay Hospital here since November 2 prompted criticism that he was receiving preferential treatment, was discharged from there on December 8 and sent back to the government-run J J Hospital. An intervention application filed by activist Anjali Damania had said it was "sheer negligence of duty" by J J Hospital and Arthur Road jail that Bhujbal was in Bombay Hospital since November 2.

On October 27, special judge P R Bhavake had allowed Bhujbal to be taken to a private hospital after he was told that a Thallium scan, one of the three tests recommended for Bhujbal, was not available at the government hospital. On October 28, prison authorities took Bhujbal to government-run J J Hospital for the other two tests.

He was then transferred to Bombay Hospital. Bhujbal was arrested on March 14 by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the Maharashtra Sadan scam and Kalina land case in which he and his relatives were alleged to have received kickbacks. He was PWD Minister in the Congress-NCP government.

PTI

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