Money laundering case: Anil Deshmukh sent to ED custody till November 6
Anil Deshmukh, 71, appeared before the ED on Monday after skipping multiple summons. The NCP leader was arrested after 12 hours of questioning. He has been booked under various sections of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
A sessions court in Mumbai sent former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh to the Enforcement Directorate's custody till November 6 in connection with a money laundering case. The agency had sought extended custody of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader, whom they arrested after 12 hours of questioning late on Monday.
The court allowed Deshmukh's application for home food and medicines during his ED custody and the presence of his lawyer during the interrogation by the agency.
Deshmukh has been booked under various sections of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
He was produced before additional sessions judge PB Jadhav, who presided over the special holiday court, a little after noon.
While Additional Solicitor General of India (ASG) Anil Singh and Hiten Venegaonkar argued for the Enforcement Directorate, senior counsel Vikram Chaudhary and Aniket Nikam defended the former Maharashtra home minister.
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered an FIR against Deshmukh on charges of bribery, corruption and criminal conspiracy after allegations were made against the politician by former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh who said that the NCP leader asked dismissed assistant inspector Sachin Waze to collect ₹100 crore from hotels and bars in Mumbai every month. Deshmukh resigned in April after the FIR was registered.
ED started its investigation based on the CBI's case.
NCP leader Nawab Malik said on Tuesday that the action against Deshmukh is politically motivated and meant to defame the three-party ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance in Maharashtra.
"After exploring all the legal means, he appeared before ED. He is being framed. The one who made the allegations against him (Anil Deshmukh) is absconding," said Malik.
"Where is Param Bir Singh? He left for Chandigarh and never returned to the city since then. There are only three ways to escape, of them one is by air and another is by road. A person can go to Nepal by road either through Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh or Bihar and BJP is in power in all these three states. Was Param Bir Singh helped to escape; MVA was defamed through him? BJP needs to answer all these questions,” he added.
Deshmukh, 71, appeared before the ED on Monday after skipping multiple summons. In a video message released yesterday, he said that all the allegations against him are false. "Today, I have 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," said Deshmukh.
The NCP leader appeared before the investigating agency after the Bombay high court on Friday rejected his petition challenging the ED summons.