Former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh appears before ED for questioning in money laundering case

Anil Deshmukh appeared today after the Bombay High Court last week dismissed the NCP leader’s plea in which he had claimed that the money laundering case against him was started out of political vendetta.

Former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh

Former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday to record his statement in connection with the money laundering case the central agency is probing against him. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) omitted at least four summons issued by the ED in the case.

Deshmukh said that false allegations are being made against him that he is not cooperating with the central agencies.

“There were reports in a section of the media that I was not cooperating with the ED and central agencies. it is not true. Whenever I got summons from ED, I informed them about my pending petitions in High Court and Supreme Court. I have replied to him every time I got summons,” Deshmukh said in a statement.

“I attended two sessions of investigation by the CBI. I am deeply saddened by the hardship my family members and colleagues are going through due to the allegations leveled by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh.

The ED is probing an alleged bribery-cum-extortion racket at the Maharashtra Police Establishment, which led to Deshmukh’s resignation in April. It will record the statement of the 71-year-old NCP leader under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

A division bench of Justice Nitin Jamdar and Justice Sarang Kotwal said, “The applicant has refused to cooperate in the investigation by not attending the summons issued by the authorities without any valid reason.”

“The applicant has failed to establish a case of legal and factual malpractice on the part of the Respondent/Directorate in proceeding with the investigation,” it further said.

The NCP leader had on September 1 moved the high court questioning the repeated summons issued to him by the ED and asked the court to appear before the investigators through audio-video medium and the agency through his representative. Permission to produce documents was requested.

The ED case against Deshmukh and others comes after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered a corruption case related to allegations of bribery made by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh. Singh claimed that Deshmukh had directed some officials, including sacked assistant inspector Sachin Vaze, to collect a monthly amount of ₹100 crore from various establishments like bars, dance bars and hookah parlors in Mumbai.