Updated: July 5, 2021 7:13:29 pm
Former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh has once again written to the Enforcement Directorate (ED), informing the agency that he has approached the Supreme Court to ensure the money laundering probe against him is “above board and within the ambit of the procedure established by law”.
In a letter to ED on Monday, Deshmukh claimed the handling of the case by the investigating agency has been “non-transparent” and “unfair” as he is yet to get a copy of the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) filed by the ED.
“It is my basic constitutional and fundamental right as a citizen to be subjected to fair, impartial, unprejudicial, unbiased objective and transparent investigations by following the procedure established by law. In the present circumstances, there is a justifiable bonafide apprehension as well as reasons to believe that the law of the land is being circumvented and the investigations being carried out are not fair,” Deshmukh stated in the letter.
The ED had issued summons to Deshmukh for the third time, asking him to appear before the agency in person on Monday. The NCP leader’s son Hrishikesh Deshmukh, too, has been summoned and asked to appear before the agency on July 6.
Deshmukh, in his letter, has asked the ED to defer the summons for a few days and await the outcome of the case filed by him in the top court. “I am expecting the listing and hearing of the petition in the next few days,” he said.
Earlier, Deshmukh had requested the ED to conduct his questioning through audio or video mode, citing his health problems and the Covid-19 pandemic. The agency had declined his request, saying the accused cannot dictate the manner of conducting the probe to an investigating body.
“I have already complied with the said summons by appearing through authorized representative Adv Inderpal B Singh as directed by your good self in the aforesaid summons. I could not have given documents relevant to the case sought by you without perusing the ECIR or the list of documents. I had thus made an innocuous request for supply of the same,” the NCP leader said. He also claimed that in several cases, the ED has served a copy of the ECIR even in the initial stages of remand, provisional attachment of property as well as with the prosecution complaint.
The ED has arrested Deshmukh’s private secretary Sanjeev Palande and private assistant Kundan Shinde in connection with money laundering case. In its remand application for the two, the agency alleged over Rs 4 crore, collected from bar owners between December 2020 and February 2021, was routed to Deshmukh’s charitable trust in Nagpur through four shell companies in Delhi.
The agency’s 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 charges.
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