Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has opposed the anticipatory bail application of former state home minister Anil Deshmukh’s son Hrishikesh Deshmukh in a money laundering case in which his father is in custody, stating that he is an influential person and there is likelihood that he may attempt to influence the investigation.
“It is submitted that the accused is an influential person and the investigation into his transactions has just begun,” it said in its response filed before a special court, adding that he may try to influence witnesses or obfuscate the trail of proceeds of crime that is yet to be identified by it, if given protection from arrest.
“The likelihood of the accused evading his trial....tampering with the evidence is high on account of him being already aware of the investigation in the present case,” the ED said in its reply to his plea.
The agency said he has never appeared before it despite six summons, never cooperated with the investigation and has been circumventing the process. The risk of him evading summons cannot be ruled out at this stage, it said.
Hrishikesh Deshmukh in his plea through advocates Inderpal Singh and Aniket Nikam had stated that he is a victim of gross persecution and harassment meted out by vested interests. He had taken the grounds that the alleged transactions including an asset created by his father date back to 15 years when he was still a teenager. The agency submitted regarding this, that in 2007, he was the director or shareholder in more than a dozen companies and was handling day-to-day activities as well as finance-related matters of those companies. It said the offence of money laundering begins from the day a property is posed as an untainted one and that having full knowledge that the transaction is from proceeds of crime he still continued to remain a beneficiary of the property post maturity and that this establishes his liability retrospectively.
The former minister’s son had also questioned the credibility of the statement of Sachin Vaze calling him a person who has no credibility, honour or pride and is involved in extortion, fraud and even murder. The agency said the statement of Vaze is corroborated by two police officials in their statements to it.
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