Anil Deshmukh, the former home minister of Maharashtra, was sent to judicial custody for 14 days in a money laundering case. Deshmukh was presented before a holiday court on Saturday, which sent him to judicial remand till November 19.
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) last Monday after 12 hours of questioning. The agency is probing the ₹100 crore extortion case against Deshmukh based on an FIR registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The CBI registered the FIR after allegations made by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, who said that Deshmukh had directed dismissed policeman Sachin Waze to collect ₹100 crore every month from hotels and bars in Mumbai.
Waze, meanwhile, was on Saturday sent to police custody till November 13 in the money laundering case. A case of extortion was registered against Waze on July 23. He was dismissed from service in May 2021.
Deshmukh has denied all the allegations against him, but had to resign in April after the CBI registered the case.
The ED called the 71-year-old politician’s son Hrishikesh for questioning on Thursday. The agency had asked Hrishikesh to appear before it on Friday but he did not, said ED officials.
On Saturday, Hrishikesh Deshmukh moved the sessions court and filed a petition for anticipatory bail.
According to ED, Waze allegedly collected ₹4.7 crore from orchestra bar owners in Mumbai for “smooth functioning of the bars” and gave this money to Deshmukh’s personal assistant Sanjeev Palande who later handed over the money to someone in Nagpur.
ED officials said its investigation revealed that through hawala channels, this money was sent to the Delhi-based Surendra Kumar Jain and Virendra Jain who operated bogus companies. The Jain brothers are alleged to have diverted this money as donations to Nagpur-based Shri Sai Shikshan Sansthan, a trust controlled by the Deshmukh family.
ED officials suspect that the Jain brothers were acting on instructions of Deshmukh’s son Hrishikesh Deshmukh and want to record his statement.