Mumbai: Former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh’s lawyer Kamlesh Ghumre has said that the Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday summoned Deshmukh’s wife Aarti Deshmukh to appear on the same day in connection with the Rs. 100 crore money laundering case in which the politician is being probed.
She did not appear before the agency, he added and said that she has given the reason that she is 66 years of age and has various health ailments. Similar to Deshmukh who had evaded numerous summons, she has said the agency can ask her questions over an audio-visual medium. Advocate Ghumre said she is a homemaker and has no connection with the money laundering case.
The lawyer pointed out that Vaze, in his affidavit before the one-man Chadiwal Commission of retired justice Kailash Chadiwal, had not mentioned anything about meeting Deshmukh in mid-February, nor about giving money to his personal assistant Kundan Shinde. This, he said, is contrary to ED’s claims that he had made a statement to it under provisions of the PMLA Act making these revelations.
Advocate Ghumre, however, clarified that in the affidavit Vaze neither mentioned these, nor has denied them.
The state government had set up this panel and given it powers of a civil court to conduct a judicial inquiry into the allegations of corruption levelled against Deshmukh by former city police chief Param Bir Singh in his letter to the chief minister that he had sent after being shunted out.
Before the NCP leader’s wife, his son Hrishikesh Deshmukh was summoned by the agency multiple times, but did not remain present before it. The ED claims he had played a key role in laundering the money that now dismissed police officer Sachin Vaze had collected from bars when he was on duty as per directions of Deshmukh. The son too had told the agency that he is ready to join the probe through audio-visual medium. Both father and son duo have approached the Supreme Court for protection against coercive action against them.