Former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh approached the Bombay High Court on Thursday, 2 September, seeking to quash the summons by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a money laundering case.
Justice Revati Mohite Dere recused herself from hearing the application without assigning any reason. The application will be heard by another bench in due course of time, PTI reported.
Meanwhile, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday arrested Deshmukh's lawyer in the case of an alleged leak of a CBI probe document, related to the ongoing inquiry against Deshmukh.
Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh in March had alleged that Deshmukh had been involved in corruption, meddling in the police force’s functioning, and the manipulation of transfers and postings in the state, among other charges. Singh had demanded a CBI probe into his allegations.
The CBI lodged an FIR against the NCP leader on 24 April on charges of corruption and misuse of official position. The ED initiated a probe based on the FIR against Deshmukh.
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 had instructed them to collect Rs 100 crore every month.
Though the ED has issued five summons to Deshmukh for questioning, he has skipped the five summons, claiming that he would be seeking appropriate remedy available under law.
A month earlier, Deshmukh had approached the Supreme Court against the summons and sought protection from arrest. However, the apex court had refused to grant any relief and said Deshmukh had alternate remedies.
So far, Sanjeev Palande (additional collector-rank official who was working as Deshmukh's private secretary) and Kundan Shinde (Deshmukh's personal assistant) have been arrested by the ED in the money laundering case, PTI reported.
The agency last month submitted its prosecution complaint (equivalent to a charge sheet) against the duo before a special court in Mumbai.
The Bombay High Court on 5 April had directed a preliminary inquiry by the CBI into the allegations.
Deshmukh had resigned from his post of state home minister the same day, and has continued to deny any wrongdoing.
(With inputs from PTI)