The Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is probing the alleged money laundering case against former home minister Anil Deshmukh, opposed his bail plea on Wednesday contending that he is an influential person and may influence witnesses.
Earlier, the Supreme Court order on Monday asked the HC to hear Deshmukh's bail plea in a week and decide it expeditiously. Deshmukh was arrested by the ED on November 2, 2021, and is currently in judicial custody.
On Wednesday, Justice NJ Jamadar reserved the order in the bail plea. "I will pass the order as early as possible, " said Justice Jamadar.
ED has contended that the former minister played a crucial role in reinstatement of suspended cop Aachin Vaze by pressurising then police commissioner Param Bir Singh. He also instructed Singh to give Waze the charge of an important unit in the Mumbai police crime branch.
Singh had led the review committee in June 2020 which had reinstated Waze to the force 16 years after he was suspended in connection with the custodial death case of Khwaja Yunus.
Deshmukh, in his capacity as a home minister then, would call Vaze directly to his official residence and had instructed him to collect Ra 100 crore ebey month from orchestra bars, restaurant owners and other establishments.
Deshmukh’s counsels – Vikram Chaudhuri and Aniket Nikam– argued that Vaze was a low rank and could not have had access to the state’s home minister.
The ED also claimed that Deshmukh laundered Rs 13.25 crore and integrated it in the bank account of his family-controlled trust. “The applicant using modus operandi of infusing cash as share capital through shell companies and projecting the same as legitimate has built a formidable empire of businesses,” read the ED reply.
As a public servant, Deshmukh amassed huge wealth and was unable to explain its source, claimed ED.