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Mumbai: Anil Deshmukh cooperating with ED, has offered to join probe virtually, says lawyer

Anil Deshmukh had been summoned by the ED multiple times in the last one month but has not reported before the Central agency, citing reasons such as the Covid-19 pandemic.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
July 14, 2021 10:46:47 pm
Former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh (Express Photo: Prashant Nadkar, File)

Former Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has been extending cooperation in the investigation in the alleged corruption case against him and has offered to appear via video-conferencing before the Enforcement Directorate, which has summoned him, the NCP leader’s lawyer, Kamlesh Ghumre, said at a press conference here on Wednesday.

The 72-year old leader of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) had been summoned by the ED multiple times in the last one month but has not reported before the Central agency, citing reasons such as the Covid-19 pandemic. Earlier this month, he also approached the Supreme Court seeking protection from coercive action against him.

Ghumre said a perception is being created about Deshmukh’s involvement in the alleged graft case to create sensation. “The evidence at this stage is not clear and can only be proven during a trial. The probe agencies can ask for whatever information or documents they want and we are ready to provide them. We have offered to cooperate via an audio-visual medium,” he said. ED had also summoned Deshmukh’s wife, who has also sought to join the probe virtually as she is a senior citizen and has no connection with any companies mentioned in the complaint, Ghumre added.

He said while an inquiry was initiated related to allegations of corruption to the tune of Rs 100 crore made against Deshmukh by former Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh, the Bombay High Court has in the past month “at least on two to three occasions, questioned why he had been silent before”. Nowhere in his affidavit has dismissed cop Sachin Waze mentioned that he had given money to Deshmukh or had met him during the timeline mentioned, Ghumre added.

So far, ED has arrested Deshmukh’s private secretary Sanjeev Palande and private assistant Kundan Shinde in connection with the case besides issuing summons to the leader and his family members to join the probe.

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