Anil Deshmukh sent to judicial custody
In a letter to Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on March 20, Singh alleged Deshmukh instructed certain Mumbai police officers to collect ₹100 crore annually from Mumbai’s restaurants and bars
A special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court on Monday remanded former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh to judicial custody. The 72-year-old Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader was arrested by the enforcement directorate (ED) on November 2 in connection with a money-laundering case against him. He was sent to Arthur Road jail in south central Mumbai.
Deshmukh was produced before the special court on Monday, the day his 14-day ED custody ended. Additional sessions judge HS Satbhai remanded him to judicial custody. The special court also allowed his pleas for home food, medicines and a bed for him in jail.
ED had registered a money-laundering case against Deshmukh on May 11 this year on the basis of an April 21 First Information Report (FIR) of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which, in turn, was based on allegations of corruption levelled by former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh.
In a letter written to Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on March 20, Singh had alleged that Deshmukh had instructed certain Mumbai police officers to collect of ₹100 crore every month from Mumbai’s restaurants and bars.
ED’s lawyers pointed out that the agency’s probe revealed that, on Deshmukh’s instructions, Sachin Vaze – an assistant police inspector in Mumbai – had called a meeting of bar owners, and that, between December 2020 and February 2021 collected ₹4.7 crore from the owners of so-called orchestra bars in Mumbai to avoid police interference. In his statement to ED, Vaze reportedly revealed that he handed over the “extorted money” in two instalments to Deshmukh’s aide Kundan Shinde.
Subsequently, they said, Deshmukh’s son Hrishikesh received an amount of ₹4.18 crore routed through Delhi-based shell entities as donations to a Deshmukh-led charitable trust, Shri Sai Shikshan Sanstha, Nagpur.
On June 26, ED arrested Shinde and Deshmukh’s personal secretary Sanjeev Palande in the money-laundering case, and on August 23, filed a charge sheet against them. Vaze is also an accused in the charge sheet.
In July 2021, ED has provisionally attached Deshmukh’s properties worth ₹4.2 crore, which included the NCP leader’s residential flat at Worli, valued at ₹ 1.54 crore, and 25 land parcels worth ₹2.67 crore, at Dhutum village in the neighbouring Raigad district.
The properties were held in name Deshmukh’s wife Aarti and a company named Premier Port Links Pvt Ltd. ED officers said Deshmukh family had acquired 50% ownership in this company, including its assets i.e. land and shops valued at approximately ₹5.34 crore by paying just ₹17.95 lakh.