A special PMLA court said that there is evidence to indicate that Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Anil Deshmukh had exercised “undue influence” over transfers of police officials during his tenure as Maharashtra home minister, said a Bombay court on Thursday, 17 March.
Special judge RN Rokade made this observation in a detailed order, made available on Thursday, 18 March, after rejecting Deshmukh's bail plea in a money laundering case, reported news agency PTI.
The NCP leader, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on 2 November last year, will continue to be lodged at the Arthur Road Jail.
Rs 13 Crore Laundered, Says ED
Deshmukh is accused of corruption and bribery by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh.
On 20 March 2021, Singh wrote a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, alleging that Deshmukh had abused his position of power to seek illegal monetary benefits.
The letter stated that Deshmukh had directed suspended police officer Sachin Vaze and others to collect Rs 100 crore from bars and restaurants over a month.
In his bail plea Deshmukh contended that he was a victim of "gross persecution" and that "harassment was being meted out to him at the hands of certain unscrupulous vested interests for blatantly malafide considerations".
The ED, however, outlined the modus operandi through which Deshmukh and his family members had allegedly laundered over Rs 13 crore.
The money was allegedly routed through shell companies and eventually transferred to the bank account of Shri Sai Shikshan Sanstha, a trust allegedly formed by the Deshmukh family, LiveLaw reported.
The ED also alleged that the funds were transferred to various accounts of companies directly and indirectly controlled by Deshmukh's family members.
(With inputs from PTI and LiveLaw)