SC asks Pankaj Bhujbal to approach Bombay HC

New Delhi, May 18: The Supreme Court on Wednesday (May 18) refused to entertain Maharashtra legislator Pankaj Bhujbal's plea against non-bailable warrant (NBW) issued by the Special PMLA Court in connection with an alleged money-laundering case relating to construction of Maharashtra Sadan in Delhi and other cases.

Pankaj Bhujbal is the son of former Maharashtra minister and senior Nationalist Congress Party leader Chhagan Bhujbal.


Asking Pankaj Bhujbal to approach the high court, the apex court vacation bench comprising Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre and Justice Ashok Bhushan said: "You did not go to Bombay High Court and straightaway came to the Supreme Court. Let the high court first examine the matter. Let the high court give the reasoning then we will see."

The counsel appearing for Bhujbal sought to invoke the doctrine of parity as another accused in the case -- Krishna Chamankar -- has already been granted bail, but the bench asked what was the ground of parity and added that if one accused was granted relief that does not mean it goes to others as well.

Having said that, the bench observed that the other accused who was granted relief had first gone to the Bombay High Court. "If he can go to high court then why can't you go the high court," the bench asked as it permitted Bhujbal to withdraw his petition and move the High Court.

The Special PMLA court had on April 27 issued NBW against Bhujbal. The NBW were returnable on May 11 but Bhujbal failed to appear before the special court.

Instead of approaching the high court as is the case in normal course, he approached the top court challenging the NBW.

Besides Bhujbal, NBWs were also issued against others after the court took cognisance of the chargesheet filed by the Enforcement Directorate. The directorate had on March 30 filed an 11,500-page chargesheet.

Bhujbal and others are facing prosecution for alleged irregularities in the construction of Maharashtra Sadan in Delhi and the Kalina land-grabbing case.


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