Updated: June 26, 2021 4:46:34 pm
Maharashtra’s former home minister Anil Deshmukh skipped summons by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday for questioning in a money laundering case.
His lawyer Jaywant Patil, who visited the ED office, said, “We have given the letter to ED and asked them to furnish documents based on which we are to be questioned as we don’t have any knowledge about the line of investigation. So we were unable to appear for questioning. Now ED has to take a call on it.”
Earlier in the day, the central probe agency arrested Deshmukh’s personal assistant Kundan Shinde and personal secretary Sanjeev Palande.
This comes a day after ED conducted searches at Deshmukh’s residence in Nagpur. Sources said the ED has established a money trail of Rs 4 crore, allegedly paid by about 10 bar owners in Mumbai to Deshmukh over three months. Based on the new findings, the ED had carried out searches at four locations, including Deshmukh’s residence, and the premises of Shinde and Palande.
The ED’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. However, Deshmukh has denied all allegations.
In his letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray after he was removed as the Mumbai Police chief, Singh had alleged that Deshmukh had asked police officers, including the now suspended Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Waze, to collect Rs 100 crore, including Rs 40-50 crore each month from 1,750 bars and restaurants in Mumbai.
The ED registered a case against Deshmukh for allegedly obtaining illegal gratification, based on an FIR filed by the CBI in April. The CBI FIR said Deshmukh had used his official position to obtain certain undue advantage and had also influenced transfers and postings in the Mumbai Police, as alleged by Singh.
Waze is being probed by the NIA for his alleged role in the case related to the bomb scare outside Mukesh Ambani’s residence and the murder of businessman Mansukh Hiran.
After being suspended for 15 years for a custodial death case, Waze had rejoined the police force in 2020.
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