Former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh
Former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh
ANI Photo

The special court on Tuesday remanded former state home minister Anil Deshmukh’s personal secretary Sanjeev Palande and personal assistant Kundan Shinde in judicial custody till July 20 after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) told the court not to release the duo as ‘suspects and witnesses connected with them’ have been summoned and are expected to join the probe.

It said the statements of the two need to be confronted with that of these suspects and witnesses to find the money trail and proceeds of crime. It may be noted that Deshmukh has skipped the agency’s summons for the third time stating that he is expecting the hearing in a petition he filed in the Supreme Court seeking protection from coercive action against him in the case.

The ED further said that it has filed a plea before the special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court seeking permission to record the statement of Sachin Vaze, dismissed police officer at the centre of the Antilla security scare and businessman Mansukh Hiran murder case. In a statement of Vaze recorded by ED on 19 May, he is said to have stated that he had collected Rs. 4.70 crores from bars in the city between December last year and February on instructions of Deshmukh. Further that, he had given the amount to Shinde in two installments to be passed to Deshmukh. The ED told the court the next date of hearing in the NIA court of this plea is 8 July.

The agency sought that the court not release the two accused pending the investigation so that the probe can get to the bottom of these ‘nefarious’ deals entered into by the accused through a complex web of companies. Earlier, the ED had informed the court that its probe had revealed there were 11 companies which are in the names of close associates of the former minister’s family members and controlled by them, in which there were suspicious transactions which seem to be part of money laundering.

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