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NCP chief Sharad Pawar today cautioned Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis that his government would be held responsible if jailed party leader Chhagan Bhujbal suffered any "untoward fate in the days to come".
In a letter written to Fadnavis, Pawar pointed out that 71-year-old Bhujbal was languishing behind bars since March 14, 2016 (in a Prevention of Money Laundering Act case) and was in a fragile state of health.
"I am saddened to record that if Chhagan Bhujbal suffers any untoward fate in the days to come, your government will be held responsible for the same," Pawar stated.
He said he did not expect anything, apart from proper medical treatment, which was also Bhujbal's constitutional right.
"Knowing fully well the overall health condition of Chhagan Bhujbal and his advance age, I am sure you will direct that prompt steps be taken to ensure that proper medical treatment be administered to him," he stated.
"As of now, the legal matters concerning Chhagan Bhujbal have not been decided by the Hon'ble Court and unless and until judiciary comes to a conclusion, he is deemed to be innocent," Pawar stated.
He further pointed out that the Supreme Court had held that 'bail is rule and jail is exception' and that the same principle should also apply to Bhujbal.
"It is unfortunate that bail has been denied to him time and again. However, I do not want to comment on this," his letter stated.
He said that Bhujbal was a respected mass OBC leader with more than 50 years of contribution to public life.
"He has served as the mayor of Mumbai, deputy chief minister of Maharashtra, minister of home, minister of public works, minister of tourism and his contribution to the welfare of people of Maharashtra cannot be scorned," he stated.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)