August 17, 2021 1:14:11 pm
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued fresh summons, the fifth, to former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh in connection with a money-laundering and corruption case, and asked him to appear before it on August 18. Deshmukh has not complied with the previous four summons of the ED. In fact, he has written to the agency multiple times requesting questioning over video conferencing, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. Deshmukh has also moved the Supreme Court asking for a fair and reasonable investigation in the money-laundering case against him. The court heard the case on August 16 and did not grant any interim relief to Deshmukh from ED action.
The ED probe has found that Deshmukh, while acting as the home minister of Maharashtra, “received illegal gratification of approximately Rs 4.7 crore in cash from various orchestra bar owners” through now dismissed Mumbai Police API Sachin Waze, arrested in the Ambani terror scare case.
According to the ED, Deshmukh’s family “laundered the tainted sum of Rs 4.18 crore and projected it as untainted by showing the same amount received by the trust, namely Shri Sai Shikshan Sanstha”.
The ED probe into Deshmukh’s financial transactions is in line with the CBI probe into former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh’s allegations of corruption against the NCP leader. Deshmukh has denied the allegations.
In his March 20 letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray after he was removed as the Mumbai Police chief, Singh alleged that Deshmukh had asked police officers, including Waze, to collect Rs 100 crore, including Rs 40-50 crore each month from 1,750 bars and restaurants in Mumbai.
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