Mumbai: Former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh held a meeting with a minister and prepared an unofficial list of transfer postings, the Enforcement Directorate on Thursday told a special court while seeking further custody of his personal secretary Sanjeev Palande and personal assistant Kundan Shinde for probe in connection with the money laundering case booked against the NCP leader.
The agency is probing money laundering with regard to the allegations of corruption on Deshmukh in transfer postings of police and extortion of bars and restaurants in the city to the tune of Rs. 100 crores.
The ED told the court that the names of some persons including a minister have come to the fore during its probe, who played a role in respect to the transfers and that it needs to verify the same with the transfer order issued by the government. The ED claims Palande made a statement to it that Deshmukh had a role in transfer postings of police officials, especially with respect to the postings of IPS officers.
It said detailed interrogation is necessary as the accused persons either attended those meetings or have personal knowledge of these.
The agency claimed both Shinde and Palande were giving evasive answers during interrogation. In its remand application submitted to the court, it mentioned how Shinde had said he did not know dismissed police officer Sachin Vaze before 1 March and that he had never met him till date. Vaze, on the other hand, the ED claimed, had told it in a statement recorded from Taloja jail where he is in custody in another case, that he had given Shinde Rs. 4.70 crores in two installments in January and February this year, which he had collected from bars between December last year and February. Shinde had allegedly collected the money on behalf of Deshmukh. It said further that when asked about WhatApp messages Shinde received from Vaze, he had said he does not remember about them. The ED said it needed to confront both accused with Vaze.
Appearing for Shinde, his advocate Mehul Thakkar said that Shinde had not acted in his personal capacity and that the ED was relying on hearsay to implicate him, while also suppressing facts.
Palande’s advocate Shekhar Jagtap pointed out the history behind the ED registering the case against Deshmukh and argued that it was a concocted story against Palande.
Special judge under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) SM Bhosale said in his order while extending the duo’s custody till 6 July, that on consideration of investigation material, there was a meeting between the home minister and one of the ministers in respect of transfer of police officers. Further, the statement of the accused states that there were transactions related to police officers. It also noted from their statements that they were giving evasive answers, while material showed that at some point they were present.