Mumbai: A special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court on Monday sent former Maharashtra home minister, Anil Deshmukh, to a 14-day judicial custody in a money laundering case. The 72-year-old senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader was arrested on November 2 by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) under various sections of PMLA.
The court also allowed Deshmukh’s plea for medicines and a bed. His lawyer cited his age and ailments. It was also submitted that Deshmukh was suffering from back issues. The court, however, kept his plea for home food pending.
A holiday court on November 6 had sent Deshmukh to judicial custody for 14 days after rejecting the ED’s plea seeking an extension of remand.
Former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh had levelled extortion and money laundering allegations against him. Singh had alleged that Deshmukh was involved in several wrongdoings, including, asking suspended police officer Sachin Waze to collect ₹100 crore from bars and restaurants in Mumbai.
The ED in its first charge sheet alleged that Deshmukh, through his PA Kundan Shinde, had collected Rs 4.7 crore from now dismissed assistant police inspector Sachin Waze in cash. Waze was then heading the CIU branch of Mumbai police and had collected the money from orchestra bar owners of Mumbai illegally for Deshmukh.
From that money, Rs 4.18 crore was transferred to Deshmukh’s Nagpur-based educational trust through shell companies with the help of Delhi-based hawala operators Surendra Jain and Virendra Jain, showing it as donation.
ED had alleged that there are 27 companies that are directly or indirectly controlled by Deshmukh’s family members and have been utilised for the purpose of infusion of ill-gotten money. It also said money has flown from personal accounts of his son Hrishikesh and Salil Deshmukh and other family members to these companies.
“Even the accused Anil Deshmukh had transacted with some of the said companies and is not able to explain the reason for that clearly indicates intention behind his denial,” the ED had said.
Deshmukh had told ED that the money his trust received from Delhi-based hawala operator was a loan.
“On asking Anil Deshmukh about his association with the trust, namely Sai Shikshan Sansthan, he said that though he is the chairman of the trust, he is not aware of any financial transaction of the trust. However, on asking specifically about transferred entries received from Delhi-based Hawala companies in the garb of donation, he categorically stated that these are loans and CSR received from the said companies. This shows his day-to-day association and involvement in the functioning of Sai Shikshan Sansthan,” the ED had said.