September 18, 2021 12:44:25 am
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday moved court against former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh, stating that he has not appeared before the agency despite summons.
The ED plea seeks directions from the court under Section 174 of the Indian Penal Code, which has provisions for action against a person not obeying a summons, notice, order or proclamation from any legally competent public servant.
Deshmukh has been summoned by the ED in connection with alleged money-laundering of bribe collected from bars, restaurants and other establishments in Mumbai.
The ED filed a prosecution complaint last month against 14 people, including Deshm-ukh’s secretary and private assistant as well as a trust and companies linked to him. The agency did not name Deshmukh in the chargesheet stating that it has been difficult to probe the case, as he had not appeared despite being issued summons since June.
Meanwhile, the ED chargesheet has alleged that an educational trust run by Deshmukh and his family was being used as a front to launder money. The agency has claimed that Shri Sai Shikshan Sanstha runs three educational institutes in Nagpur. It added that donations were given to the trust “in the garb of loans/sale of shares” of companies linked to Deshmukh. The ED has claimed that the money was being rotated in various companies as a means of layering.
While the ED case deals with the alleged bribe – worth Rs 4.7 crore – taken by Deshmukh through dismissed Mumbai Police officer and co-accused Sachin Waze between December 2020 and February 2021, the chargesheet gave details of donations made to the trust from 2013, including over Rs 1 crore in February-March 2021.
The ED chargesheet also included statements of dummy directors of companies linked to Deshmukh, including a former NCP member, a man who provides IIT coaching and a gas agency worker, who were paid between Rs 65,000-75,000 to be named as directors and put their signatures periodically on documents pertaining to the companies. The chargesheet included statement of Waze, who has said that he would get directions directly in a few cases from Deshmukh. Waze also said in the TRP case, Deshmukh wanted him to arrest Republic TV editor Arnab Goswami, while in another case related to celebrity car designer Dilip Chhabria, Deshmukh wanted him to take Rs 150 crore from the complainant.
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