Updated: May 11, 2021 7:04:24 pm
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has registered a case against former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for allegedly obtaining illegal gratification, ED officials said. However, the agency has not specified the amount of illegal gratification in its enforcement case information report (ECIR).
The ECIR filed by the ED is based on the corruption case registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against Deshmukh last month.
The CBI said that Deshmukh used his official position to obtain undue advantage and had also influenced the transfers and postings in the Mumbai Police, as alleged by former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh. It has charged Deshmukh under section 7 of the amended Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) 2018, along with section 120 B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
ED sources said the agency will look into financial transactions of Deshmukh as the CBI is probing the allegation of Rs 100 crore being illegally collected each month from bars and restaurants in Mumbai on the instructions of Deshmukh. The agency is likely to summon Deshmukh for questioning in the case.
Both the NCP and Congress on Tuesday said the move by the ED to register a case against Deshmukh under the anti-money laundering law is politically motivated and aimed at diverting people’s attention from the failure of the central government in managing the Covid-19 pandemic.
The CBI initiated an inquiry against Deshmukh after the Bombay High Court directed the agency to look into the allegations of corruption levelled by Singh against him.
On March 20, Singh, in an eight-page letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, alleged that Deshmukh asked now suspended API Sachin Waze to collect Rs 100 crore every month, including Rs 40-50 crore from 1,750 bars and restaurants in Mumbai.
Waze is being investigated by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for his alleged role in the Ambani house bomb scare and the murder of businessman Mansukh Hiran.
Waze had earlier submitted a letter to the NIA court supporting the allegations made by Singh against Deshmukh and also levelling charges against Transport Minister Anil Parab of the Shiv Sena. Waze has alleged that Deshmukh has asked him to pay Rs 2 crore for his reinstatement with the Mumbai Police. The court, however, has not taken the letter on record.
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