Special judge HS Satbhai hearing Anil Deshmukh case transferred

Additional Sessions Judge HS Satbhai had taken charge as Special Judge for hearing criminal cases pertaining to MPs and MLAs in July 2021.
Special judge HS Satbhai hearing Anil Deshmukh case transferred
Mumbai sessions court

Additional Sessions Judge HS Satbhai, special judge for hearing criminal cases related to Members of Parliament (MP) and Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs), has been transferred to Yavatmal district of Maharashtra.

The office order to that effect citing administrative reasons was issued and signed by MH Chandwani, Registrar General of Bombay High Court on Monday.

"The High Court has been pleased to transfer and post Shri H.S. Satbhai, Judge, City Civil Court and Additional Sessions Judge, Mumbai as District Judge – 2 and Additional Sessions Judge, Kelapur, District Yavatmal with immediate effect." the official order of November 15 states.

Judge Satbhai was appointed as Special Judge to hear cases on MPs and MLAs in July 2021.

Prior to this, he was Special Judge for hearing cases pertaining to the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act from August 2020 to July 2021.

According to a report in ET, Supreme Court on Saturday permitted the Bombay High Court to transfer judge Satbhai from his current charge to Yavatmal on account of "administrative exigencies" noticed by the Administrative Committee of the High Court in their meeting of October 6, 2021.

This application had to be filed by the Registrar of High Court due to an earlier order of the Supreme Court expressly directing all High Courts to not transfer Special Judges (including CBI Courts involving prosecution of MPs and MLAs) from their existing charge without express direction of the Apex Court until further orders.

One of the most prominent cases heard by Judge Satbhai was the Maharashtra Sadan scam case of 2015 in which he discharged the State Cabinet Minister Chhagan Bhujbal in September 2021.

Judge Satbhai was also hearing the applications by the Enforcement Directorate seeking remand of former Home Minister Anil Deshmukh in a money laundering case.

Deshmukh was produced by ED before a vacation judge. However, once the vacation was over, Deshmukh was produced before Judge Satbhai for remand extension.

In the same FIR, Deshmukh's son Hrishikesh Deshmukh had moved an anticipatory bail application which was listed before Additional Sessions Judge MG Deshpande.

Judge Deshpande had mused as to how the remand in the same FIR, came up before before judge Satbhai who held the charge for hearing "trials" against MPs and MLAs and not pre-trial applications.

He had, therefore, directed ED to seek clarification from the principal judge of Sessions Court on the issue.

Subsequently, the principal judge had clarified that Deshmukh's remand would lie with judge Satbhai only.

Deshmukh was later remanded to judicial custody by Judge Satbhai.

[Read Notification]

Judge HS Satbhai transfer order.pdf

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