Mumbai: Former Maharashtra Home Minister, Anil Deshmukh and his son Hrishikesh for the fifth time skipped summons issued by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) asking them to join the investigations of the money laundering case probed by the agency against Deshmukh and others.
Deshmukh submitted his written response to the summons to the ED, through his legal representative Inderpal B Singh, on Wednesday. In his letter, Deshmukh has informed the ED that till the time appropriate orders are passed by the courts where he seeks lawful remedies, his statement may be recorded through any electronic medium of the agency's choice.
Deshmukh's letter to the ED stated, "At the outset, I may submit that you have chosen to issue summons immediately after the hearing of my Writ Petition before the Supreme Court (SC) without even awaiting the text of the order to be uploaded on the court's website and without reading the contents thereof. As you are aware that with respect to the ED's ECIR, I have approached the SC seeking various reliefs including laying challenge to the validity of various provisions of the PMLA as well as for quashing the ECIR in question."
"I also sought protection of my personal liberty. The said petition had come up for hearing before the SC on August 16 and the court passed an order from which it is abundantly clear that the SC has made it open for me to take recourse to all appropriate remedies available under CrPC including filing of a quashing petition. Please take note that in accordance with the leave and liberty granted by the SC, I am taking recourse to lawful remedies for the protection of my liberty and such other reliefs relating to the violation of the procedure established by the law by the ED in the commencement and contribution of the investigations. The said recourse shall be taken in a day or two," the letter added.
ED had issued the fifth summons to Deshmukh and Hrishikesh on Tuesday, a day after the SC told Deshmukh to go to the appropriate court for seeking interim relief from any coercive action by the ED.
Deshmukh had earlier skipped four summons issued by the ED and had submitted a communication to the agency through his legal representative on August 02, stating that investigations being carried out by the ED were neither fair, nor just impartial. In his communication, Deshmukh had earlier in a video statement had also stated that he would appear before the ED to record his statement after the Supreme Court's decision over his petition.
On July 18, the ED had carried out searches at Deshmukh’s house in Katol, near Nagpur, and his ancestral home at Wadvihira village, near Katol. The next day, Deshmukh had issued a video statement and had informed that once the outcome of his petition in the apex court comes, he would visit the ED and get his statement recorded.
Last month, the ED had also provisionally attached assets worth Rs 4.20 crore of Deshmukh and his family held in the name of his wife Aarti Deshmukh and company Premier Port Links Private Limited under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The attached assets were in the form of one residential flat valued at Rs 1.54 crore, located in Worli and 25 land parcels of book value Rs 2.67 crore, located at Dhutum villages in Uran, Raigad district.
"Investigation under PMLA revealed that Anil Deshmukh, while acting as Home Minister of State of Maharashtra, with dishonest intention has received illegal gratification of approximately Rs 4.70 crore in cash from various orchestra bar owners, through Sachin Vaze, then Assistant Police Inspector of Mumbai Police. Further, with the help of Delhi-based dummy companies, Deshmukh family laundered the tainted money of Rs 4.18 crore and projected it as untainted by showing the same as amount received in the Trust namely Shri Sai Shikshan Sanstha," ED had claimed.
The ED had initiated money-laundering investigation on May 11 on the basis of an FIR, under Section 120-B of the IPC and Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 registered by CBI against Deshmukh and others for allegedly attempting to obtain undue advantage for improper and dishonest performance of their public duty for collection of funds to achieve the target of Rs 100 crore per month from various bars, restaurants and other establishments in Mumbai.
On June 25, the ED had arrested Deshmukh’s personal secretary Sanjeev Palande and personal assistant Kundan Shinde under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
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