Anil Deshmukh Issued Fresh Summons By ED After Seeking More Time

After Saturday’s hearing in a special PMLA court, Deshmukh’s aides Shinde and Palande were sent to ED custody.

3 min read
Param Bir Singh (left) and former Maharashtra HM Anil Deshmukh (right).

Former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh was issued fresh summons by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday, 26 June after sought more time to appear for questioning in the Rs 100-crore bribery case that led to his resignation in April.

The ED had summoned Deshmukh to appear before the law enforcement body for questioning on Saturday, 26 June, in connection with the case against the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) member.

Deshmukh had been asked to depose before the investigating officer of the case at the law enforcement agency's office at 11 am.

According to an ANI report, Deshmukh's legal counsel reached the Enforcement Directorate office on Saturday with an application, seeking some other date for his appearance before the agency.

The ED will consider the application submitted by his lawyer and give a fresh date to Deshmukh, officials said.

The ED, on Friday, had also raided Deshmukh's residences, both in Nagpur as well as in Mumbai.

Deshmukh's Aides Booked in the Money Laundering Case

Deshmukh's personal secretary Sanjeev Palande and personal assistant Kundan Shinde, who had been taken in for interrogation by the ED on Friday, were booked under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after nine hours of questioning, news agency PTI reported.

After Saturday’s hearing at a special PMLA court, Deshmukh’s aides Shinde and Palande were sent to ED custody till 1 July.

ED officials had indicated that the two accused were not cooperating with the investigation during their interrogation at the economic law enforcement agency’s office in Mumbai’s Ballard.

Palande and Shinde appeared before the special court on Saturday for cases relating to PMLA, where the ED pursued their remand for custodial interrogation.

This Isn’t New for Us: NCP Chief Sharad Pawar

On Friday evening, former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said, “you know Param Bir Singh made false allegations against me after he was removed from the post of Mumbai Police Commissioner because his role was very suspicious”, ANI reported.

He further asked, “Why didn't he level allegations when he was still holding the post?”

Later, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said, “This isn't new for us. Attempts were made against others too. Central agencies had eyes on his son's business but got nothing as far as I know hence they are trying to create problems for his family at other places. Don't need to worry.”

Palande and Shinde’s Hearing on Saturday

ED on Saturday brought Deshmukh's aides Shinde and Palande to its office after their medical check-up.

During the hearing, Palande's lawyer called ED “a caged sparrow, which only tweets and does nothing”, ANI reported. The court took serious offence and warned the defence lawyer to not indulge in personal comments.

Commenting on the ED remand copy and the case background, Palande’a lawyer said, “This is an absolute cock and bull story. ED is an elite organisation but they acted as local police. They raided my (Palande) residence yesterday and gave me notice of Section 50 of PMLA and then took me along with them. What is this?”

Further, Shinde's lawyer Mehul Thakkar said, "Non-cooperation alone can't be a ground for remand in this case. The reason of arrest is also not fulfilled in the process adopted by ED," ANI reported. The ED countered this and said they had all reasons for arrest as per Section 19.

Thakkar added, “There is nothing to show on record that Sachin Waze was in direct contact with Kundan Shinde except for Waze's own statement and they can't rely fully on this.”

After the hearing, Deshmukh’s aides Shinde and Palande were sent to ED custody till 1 July.

What is the Case?

Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh in March had alleged that Anil Deshmukh had been involved in corruption, meddling in the police force’s functioning and manipulating transfers and postings in the state, among other charges. Singh had demanded a CBI probe into his allegations.

Singh had claimed that Deshmukh held meetings in February 2021 with junior police officers, including Sachin Vaze, who was arrested in relation to the Ambani bomb scare case, and instructed them to accumulate Rs 100 crore every month.

Following the former top cop's allegations, the CBI had filed an FIR over the charges of money laundering against Deshmukh on 24 May.

(With inputs from PTI and ANI)

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