Chandrakant Patil was quoted saying in the interview, “It is only because of Chhagan Bhujbal’s nephew, Sameer Bhujbal’s insistence, that we went out of our way and ensured that Chhagan Bhujbal is given bail, despite not meriting it. How then, does he have the audacity to criticize Prime Minister Narendra Modi?”
In reply to Chandrakant Patil’s statements the NCP leader and Cabinet Minister of Food and Civil Supply Chhagan Bhujbal, said, “First of all, my nephew (Sameer Bhujbal) was arrested two months before I was arrested, hence, there is no possibility of me going along with him to meet Chandrakant Patil. If they are talking about my son (Pankaj Bhujbal), even he was summoned by ED and other agencies, so he was away from everyone and was seeking anticipatory bail at that time. This man (Chandrakant Patil) is blatantly telling lies on National Television.”
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Bhujbal further asked, “Is Chandrakant Patil trying to say that BJP has taken control over agencies like ED, CBI, NAI and now they control the judiciary as well?”
“I have got justice from the Supreme Court of India, it was Justice Rohinton Nariman who amended Section 45 of the ED Act, which gave relief to several others like me. Chandrakant Patil should learn to listen to critics too. West Bengal was a shock for them, now they will have to take many more shocks ahead,” Bhujbal further added.
Chhagan Bhujbal, who has spent over two years in jail in connection with a money laundering case, was granted bail by the Bombay High Court in 2018. Bhujbal was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in March 2016. He got bail when the Supreme Court struck down a provision that can deny a person bail even if there is reasonable ground to believe that he or she did not commit the offence of money laundering.
Justice Nariman, who authored the verdict, said Section 45(1) was violative of Article 14, both in its discriminatory aspect and its “manifestly arbitrary” aspect. The court found that Section 45(1) does not serve the purpose of PMLA.
When we spoke to Chandrakant Patil about Bhujbal’s claims he said, “Sameer Bhujbal not only approached us but also promised to leave politics if they are left out from the ED and corruption case. I never said Devendra Fadnavis arranged bail. My statements are twisted for political motives.”
AAP demands probe against Chandrakant Patil
Meanwhile, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) expressed shock and disgust against Maharashtra’s former BJP revenue minister, Chandrakant Patil’s brazen revelation, about influencing the bail of the present minister and PWD scam – accused Chhagan Bhujbal.
Speaking over the same AAP Mumbai leader Preeti Sharma Menon said, “We are shocked and appalled at Chandrakant Patil’s statement, which clearly shows that the former Devendra Fadnavis’ government in Maharashtra, not only interfered with the criminal justice system; but also ensured that Chhagan Bhujbal is given bail.”
Menon further continued, “Moreover, the BJP only woke up when their fragile ego was hurt by Bhujbal’s criticism of Narendra Modi. We demand that Chhagan Bhujbal’s bail be cancelled, Chandrakant Patil be arrested for interfering with the law, and a thorough investigation be conducted, to probe all such instances of political interference during Devendra Fadnavis’ term in government.”