A special court in Mumbai on Thursday granted bail to former Maharashtra revenue minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Eknath Khadse. The NCP leader has been facing charges of corruption and money laundering in a case related to a land deal in Pune district involving his family members.
Khadse’s lawyers Mohan and Swati Tekavde had approached the Bombay High Court with an anticipatory bail plea in 2021. On October 21, 2021, the high court directed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) not to arrest Khadse for a week and by when he would be able to seek bail from a special PMLA court.
After being granted protection, Khadse appeared before the special court and filed an application for bail. The special court had granted interim relief from arrest to Khadse while citing the Bombay High Court’s order. This relief was extended from time to time in the past two years.
On Thursday, special judge RN Rokade granted bail to Khadse on a bond of Rs 2 lakh with one or more sureties in the like amount.
The court also directed Khadse to not leave India without its permission. He shall not tamper with prosecution witnesses and evidence in any manner and cooperate for early disposal of the trial, the court ruled.
Khadse, a senior minister in the previous BJP-led government in Maharashtra, had to step down in 2016 after he was accused of misusing his position to facilitate the purchase of government land in Bhosari industrial area near Pune by his wife and son-in-law Girish Chaudhary.
The Khadse family allegedly purchased the land at a dirt cheap price, which was way lower than the existing market rate at that time, the investigators claimed.
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Image Credit / Source: News Wire