The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has registered a money-laundering case against former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and others, on the basis of an FIR by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against Deshmukh in connection with the corruption allegations levelled against him by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh.
Sources in the agency on Tuesday informed that an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) has been registered in Mumbai against Deshmukh and searches could be conducted in connection with the case in coming days.
The agency officials also claimed that summons could be issued to Deshmukh and others related with the case and their statements would be recorded by the ED in coming days.
In March, Singh, in his letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had alleged that “Sachin Vaze who was heading the Crime Intelligence Unit of the Crime Branch of the Mumbai Police was called by Deshmukh, to his official residence Dnyaneshwar several times in last few months and repeatedly instructed to assist in collection of funds for the Home Minister.”
Around mid-February and thereafter, the home minister had called Vaze to his official residence. At that time, one or two staff members of the home minister, including his Personal Secretary Sanjeev Palande were also present. The home minister expressed to Vaze that he had a target to collect Rs 100 crore a month from bars, restaurants and other establishments in Mumbai, Param Bir Singh had further alleged.
Later Param Bir Singh had moved the Supreme Court seeking a CBI probe, but the court had asked him to move the Bombay High Court. While the Bombay High Court dismissed Param Bir Singh’s petition, it took into consideration a PIL filed by Advocate Jayshri Patil, which had also sought a CBI probe against Deshmukh. The Bombay High Court had, on April 5, ordered the CBI to conduct a preliminary enquiry into the allegations levelled against Deshmukh and to submit a report within 15 days.
The CBI had registered a preliminary enquiry the following day and had started its enquiry. But Deshmukh had denied all the allegations made by Singh and moved the Supreme Court against the Bombay High Court’s order. The state of Maharashtra too had moved the Supreme Court, but Supreme Court did not give any relief to either Deshmukh or the state.
Following this, a team of CBI officers had recorded the statements of Singh, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Enforcement) Raju Bhujbal, ACP Sanjay Patil and Vaze, in connection with the allegations.
The probe team had also recorded the statement of Advocate Jayshri Patil, who had also approached the court seeking a probe into Singh’s allegations.
The agency had also recorded statements of a Kandivli bar owner and two drivers of Vaze.
On April 24, the CBI had registered an FIR against Deshmukh and others under corruption charges.