Money laundering case: HC seeks ED response to bail plea filed by Iqbal Mirchi aide on medical grounds

The Bombay High Court recently asked the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to respond to the bail plea filed on health grounds by Humayun Merchant, arrested in connection with a money laundering case involving gangster Iqbal Mirchi. Merchant has been lodged at Taloja jail since his arrest in October 2019.

In 2020, the HC had rejected Merchant’s regular bail plea, which he had moved after the same was rejected by the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court, following which he had moved the high court seeking bail on medical grounds.

On July 29, a single-judge bench of Justice Bharati H Dangre heard a plea by Merchant on medical grounds stating that he is 72 years old and suffers from various ailments.

Senior advocate Vikram Chaudhari, appearing for Merchant, placed on record the latest report of the prisoner dated June 17 submitted by the Chief Medical Officer of Taloja Central Prison. The report stated that the condition of the prisoner was “precarious and deteriorating day by day”. It was stated that he was suffering from geriatric problems and though being treated by JJ Group of Hospitals, his health condition required further expert management.

Chaudhari also submitted that the applicant was arrested in 2019 and, therefore, “even otherwise”, his long incarceration deserved his release on bail.

After the ED counsel sought time to respond to the plea due to non-availability of Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh representing the central agency at the hearing, the bench posted the matter to August 26.

The ED had arrested the “aide” of late gangster Iqbal Memon alias Iqbal Mirchi in connection with an alleged illegal dealing of his properties to the tune of Rs 200 crore in October 2019. The Central agency had alleged that Mirchi had given the power of attorney to Merchant, who had contacted builders and arranged meetings between the gangster and his family in Dubai.


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