ED summons former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh in money laundering case against Anil Deshmukh
ED summons former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh in money laundering case against Anil Deshmukh
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Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued summons to former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh to get his statement recorded in connection with the agency’s ongoing money laundering probe against former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, agency officials informed on Friday. The ED sources stated that Singh had sought time to respond to the summons owing to a health issue.

Singh did not respond to the calls and messages sent to him seeking his comments.

Last month, the ED had searched the premises of Deshmukh and people linked to him in Nagpur and Mumbai. The officials had also arrested Deshmukh’s personal secretary Sanjeev Palande and personal assistant Kundan Shinde, for their alleged involvement in the money laundering case.

The ED had also summoned Deshmukh thrice, but the former minister did not turn up at the ED office and through his lawyers, had communicated to the agency that he should be provided with a copy of the ECIR of case and related documents and that he was available for any audio-visual communication with the agency. On Sunday, Deshmukh had moved the Supreme Court, seeking protection from any coercive action by the ED in this money laundering case.

In March this year, in a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray after he was removed from the police commissioner’s post, Singh had alleged that Deshmukh had asked Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze (now dismissed) to extort over Rs 100 crore a month from bars and restaurants in Mumbai.

Following the court’s order, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had initiated an enquiry into the matter and had recorded statements of Deshmukh, Singh, Vaze, Palande, Shinde and some bar owners and registered an FIR against Deshmukh on charges of corruption on April 24. The ED then registered a case of money laundering against Deshmukh on the basis of CBI’s FIR on May 11.

The ED has questioned Vaze in this case twice at the Taloja jail in Navi Mumbai and is likely to question him again on Saturday after it obtained a court permission to record his statement for three days.

Vaze is in jail after he was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in connection with a case related to the parking of a gelatin sticks-laden SUV near the residence of the Ambanis and the murder case of businessman Mansukh Hiran.

He had also told the ED about attending a meeting at the official residence of the then Home Minister Deshmukh, wherein he was given a list of bar and restaurant owners and asked to “collect Rs 3 lakh per month” from each of these businesses in Mumbai.

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