After his aides’ arrest, ex-Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday at 11 AM, report sources.
UPDATE: Deshmukh seeks extra time
Lawyers of ex-Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh reach Enforcement Directorate office with an application, seeking some other date for his appearance before the agency. “We’ve given the letter to ED&asked them to furnish documents based on which we’re to be questioned as we don’t have any knowledge about the line of investigation. So we’re unable to appear for questioning. Now ED has to take a call on it,” said Deshmukh’s lawyer Jaywant Patil.
After his aides’ arrest, ex-Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday at 11 AM, report sources. The summons was sent after Deshmukh’s personal assistant Kundan Shinde and his personal secretary Sanjeev Palande were arrested in connection to a money laundering case at 2 AM, earlier today. Deshmukh’s Nagpur residence has already been raided by ED, days earlier.
Deshmukh summoned by ED
Sources report that ED suspects that Rs 20 crores were allegedly routed through Kolkata-based shell companies. The money which ED suspects were collected as ‘protection’ from bar owners were allegedly funnelled via the companies. On questioning Kolkata-based operators Manohar Nangalia and Babulal Bunka, ED has learnt that certain shell companies were floated on the behest of a Nagpur-based CA having close links with Deshmukh. Moreover, Rs 10 crores were allegedly routed through a company named Zodiac Dealcom. ED is also probing Bengaluru-based real estate company Assetz Infrahome which has links to Deshmukh in the same case.
In May, the central agency had registered an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) against Deshmukh under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for allegedly obtaining illegal gratification. The ECIR was based on CBI’s case lodged against him based on extortion charges levied by ex-Mumbai CP Param Bir Singh. Amid these raids, Sachin Vaze was quizzed by ED officials at Taloja jail in the case pertaining to the allegations levelled by Singh. Vaze allegedly accused Deshmukh of asking him to pay Rs.2 crore so that he can convince NCP supremo Sharad Pawar against placing him under suspension once again.
Param Bir Singh’s allegations against Anil Deshmukh
Earlier in April, in an 8-page letter to CM Thackeray, Param Bir Singh alleged that Vaze had been summoned by Deshmukh to his residence several times in the past few months ‘setting a target of accumulating Rs 100 crores a month’ from 1,750 bars, restaurants and other establishments in Mumbai – collecting Rs 2-3 lakhs from each. He added that the Home Minister had said that a monthly collection of Rs 40-50 crores were achievable from such establishments and the rest could be ‘collected from other sources’. Maharashtra HM Anil Deshmukh refuted all ‘extortion allegations’ and later resigned after the HC allowed a CBI probe into Singh’s allegations.
On April 21, the CBI registered an FIR against the NCP leader and unknown individuals under Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act and Section 120 B of the Indian Penal Code. According to the FIR, the former Maharashtra Home Minister was aware that dismissed Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze was entrusted with most of the sensational and important cases of Mumbai. It also accused him and others of exercising undue influence over the transfer and posting of officials and thereby exercising undue influence over the performance of official duties by the officials. Deshmukh has moved HC seeking quashing of the FIR.