Mumbai: Former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh on Monday reached the Enforcement Directorate (ED) office in Mumbai for questioning in a money laundering case and extortion case against him, officials said.
The federal probe agency will reportedly record the statement of the 71-year-old NCP leader under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in connection with the criminal investigation being carried out by it in the alleged Rs 100 crore bribery-cum-extortion racket in the Maharashtra Police establishment that led to his’s resignation in April.
Mumbai | Former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh arrives at the office of the Enforcement Directorate to join the investigation in extortion and money laundering allegations against him pic.twitter.com/qF1p1aGW11
— ANI (@ANI) November 1, 2021
Anil Deshmukh was accused by Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh of asking dismissed assistant inspector Sachin Vaze to collect Rs 100 crore from hotels and bars in Mumbai every month, a charge which the then state home minister had consistently denied.
Prior to this, Deshmukh has skipped at least four summons issued by the ED in the case but after the Bombay High Court last week refused to quash these summons, and asked him to appeared before the agency with his lawyer.
In a tweet, the NCP leader said he was appearing before ED officials as per the high court’s order, and questioned why Param Bir Singh had not joined the investigation.
“Today, I’ve presented myself before the Enforcement Directorate. Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh made false allegations against me. Where is he today? As per media reports, he has left the country,” Deshmukh said in a self-made video.
मा. उच्च न्यायालय ने मेरे संवैधानिक अधिकार के अनुसार मुझे विशेष न्यायालय में जाने की स्वतंत्रता दी है लेकिन मैं फिर भी आज ईडी के कार्यालय जाऊंगा और जांच में पूरा सहयोग करूंगा. pic.twitter.com/fGYJ622T6s
— ANIL DESHMUKH (@AnilDeshmukhNCP) November 1, 2021
The ED filed case against Deshmukh, who was earlier the home minister in the MVA government, and others came after the CBI booked him in the corruption case related to allegations of bribe made by former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh. The central agency had arrested Deshmukh’s personal assistant Kundan Shinde and personal secretary Sanjeev Palande under provisions of the PMLA. Palande is said to be a key witness in the case and was apparently privy to information regarding the alleged extortion and diversion of funds. The agency has conducted several raids in connection with the case.