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Bhujbal Sent To 14 Days Judicial Custody For Money Laundering

Former Maharashtra deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal was sent to 14 days judicial custody by a Special Court of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act here on Thursday. He was arrested late on Monday by the Enforcement Directorate and sent to two days custody of the investigating agency, which is probing money laundering and other cases against him. Shortly after the Special Court ruled, Bhujbal was sent to the Arthur Road Central Jail where his nephew Samir Bhujbal is also lodged since his arrest on February 1 in related cases.

Bhujbal had earlier pleaded innocence in the cases pertaining to the construction of Maharashtra Sadan, a government guesthouse in New Delhi and the Kalina (Mumbai) land grabbing cases. In a major embarrassment to the Nationalist Congress Party to which he belongs, Bhujbal was interrogated by ED officials for nearly 11 hours on Monday and then placed under arrest for alleged corruption.

The ED action came after over a month after his nephew Samir Bhujbal was similarly summoned in February and arrested by the ED. Later last month, ED questioned Pankaj Bhujbal, a legislator, and allowed him to go even as his father Chhagan Bhujbal cried foul. The NCP termed it "political vendetta".

The ED's probe follows a Bombay High Court ruling in January when it sought progress reports from the Maharashtra Anti-Corruption Bureau and the ED within four weeks on their investigation against the Bhujbals. The ED had conducted searches twice at nine premises belonging to the Bhujbal trio and others and subsequently served attachment orders on three prime properties linked to the Bhujbal family members worth over Rs 280 crore in Mumbai. Simultaneously, the State Anti-Corruption Bureau lodged a chargesheet against the three Bhujbals and 14 others in the Maharashtra Sadan case.

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