The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has again summoned Maharashtra’s former home minister Anil Deshmukh and his son Hrishikesh in connection with an alleged corruption and money laundering case. The agency has asked them to appear before the agency in person on August 2 under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The summons comes on a day when the Supreme Court refused to grant protection from arrest to Anil Deshmukh in the corruption case that is being investigated by the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Deshmukh had moved the top court seeking protection and a fair investigation. The SC will now hear the case on August 3.
The agency, sources said, has allegedly established money laundering of over Rs 80 crore by Deshmukh.
The NCP leader had earlier skipped the ED summons twice. In his first reply, Deshmukh said he was unable to appear in person before the agency due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Subsequently, he asked the ED to wait for the Supreme Court to decide his petition seeking protection from coercive action by the probe agencies in the case.
Earlier this week, the CBI had searched several people connected to Deshmukh in the case.
In April, the CBI filed an FIR against Deshmukh and charged him with corruption and bribery after a preliminary enquiry (PE) found that the former state minister had “attempted to obtain undue advantage for the improper and dishonest performance of his public duty”.
The CBI is also probing Deshmukh of exercising “undue influence” over the transfer and posting of police officials as alleged by former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh.
Last month, the ED probe found that Deshmukh, while acting as the home minister of Maharashtra, “received illegal gratification of approximately Rs 4.7 crore in cash from various orchestra bar owners” through now dismissed Mumbai Police API Sachin Waze, arrested in the Ambani terror scare case.
According to the ED, Deshmukh’s family “laundered the tainted sum of Rs 4.18 crore and projected it as untainted by showing the same amount received by the trust, namely Shri Sai Shikshan Sanstha”.
On March 20, Singh in an eight-page letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had alleged that Deshmukh had asked Waze to collect Rs 100 crore every month, including Rs 40-50 crore, from 1,750 bars and restaurants across Mumbai. Waze is being investigated by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for his alleged role in the Ambani terror scare case and the murder of businessman Mansukh Hiran.
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