Former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Monday responded to fresh summons sent by the Enforcement Directorate seeking his appearance in a money laundering case. While the NCP leader reiterated his cooperation, he added that he would follow the orders of the court. Putting forth a multi-point clarification he also sought to dispel "any adverse impression and prejudice" that the department was "hell bent on creating" against him.
"Searches were carried out at our residence(s) at 25.06.2021 wherein I had rendered full co-operation and assistance where even our statement(s) were recorded. I remained with you for several hours," the statement reminded. On the same day, he was handed summons and granted permission to appear through authorised representatives with certain relevant documents.
Deshmukh contends that his letter seeking details about the documents in question had so far gone unanswered. In a point by point format the former Home Minister also touched upon summons and interactions that had followed in the weeks after that. According to the response given by Deshmukh, there are several contradictions and misleading aspects to the ED's remarks in the case.
"With utmost respect, this is not only factually incorrect but a misleading and palpably prejudicial statement as well as stand. The question of my failing to comply with the summons or making a pretext does not even remotely arise. On the contrary, it appears to be the case of a pot calling the kettle black inasmuch as your goodself has not even responded to my requests made on 26.06.2021 and 29 06 2021 and maintained an eerie silence. I was not even apprised whether my request has been acceded to or refused until the subject letter received now," he contended.
Deskmukh however insisted that he was committed to cooperating with the investigation. "However, a series of events have given rise to a bonafide apprehension in my mind that neither the procedure of law is being followed nor any objective, impartial or transparent investigations are being carried out. I also apprehend invasion of my liberty by circumventing the process of law," he added.
On Sunday, the former Home Minister had moved the the Supreme Court seeking protection from any coercive action in the case. This came after the ED issued summons asking him to appear before the agency on July 5. The agency has also summoned his son Hrishikesh Deshmukh on July 6 in the same case.
In his letter on Monday, Deshkukh said that he had approached the apex court to safeguard and protecting my fundamental rights and to "ensure that the investigations are aboveboard and within the ambit of the procedure established by law". He urged the ED to wait for the response of the Court.