Mumbai: Former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh on Monday for the fourth time skipped the summons issued by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), asking him to record his statement in connection with the money laundering case probed by the agency.
In his letter to the ED, issued on Monday, Deshmukh stated that he had filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the ED investigations and seeking interim reliefs.
"Petition had come up for hearing on July 30 and on the same day, ED had issued a summons. SC had posted the matter hearing on August 03. In such circumstances, your summons issued soon after the date of hearing of the matter by the SC and seeking my personal appearance on a day prior to the next hearing before the SC substantially strengthens my fear and apprehension the investigations being carried out by you are neither fair nor just impartial or above-board. Brute abuse of power and authority is apparent on the face of the record," the letter stated.
Deshmukh in his letter reiterated that to date, ED has not furnished him a copy of ECIR or the list of documents pertaining to the case which he had sought for.
"It appears that the subject summons has been issued solely with an aim to create a prejudice so as to either serve the media or sensationalise the matter before the SC by alleging purported non-compliance thereof by me. I request you to record my statement through any audio-video mode and furnish me with the documents related to the case. I shall abide by the orders of the courts of law and would submit myself to any appropriate direction or order that may be passed by the courts in due course of law," states the letter which was submitted by Deshmukh's legal representative Inderpal Singh.
On July 18, ED officials had carried out searches at Deshmukh’s house in Katol town near Nagpur and his ancestral home at Wadvihira village near Katol. The next day, Deshmukh had issued a video statement and had informed that once the outcome of his petition in the apex court comes, he would himself visit the ED and would get his statement recorded.
Last month, ED had also provisionally attached assets worth Rs 4.20 crore of Deshmukh and his family, held in the name of his wife Aarti Deshmukh and company Premier Port Links Private Limited under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The attached assets were in the form of one residential flat valued at Rs 1.54 crore, located at Worli and 25 land parcels of book value Rs 2.67 crore, located at Dhutum villages in Uran, Raigad district. The same day, a legal representative of the Deshmukhs' had submitted some documents sought by the agency in connection with the case.
ED had initiated money-laundering investigation on May 11, on the basis of an FIR under Section 120-B of IPC, 1860 and section 7 of Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 registered by CBI against Deshmukh and others for allegedly attempting to obtain undue advantage for the improper and dishonest performance of their public duty for collection of funds to achieve the target of Rs 100 crore per month from various bars, restaurants and other establishments in Mumbai.
On June 25, ED had arrested Deshmukh’s personal secretary Sanjeev Palande and personal assistant Kundan Shinde under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
(If you have a story in and around Mumbai, you have our ears, be a citizen journalist and send us your story here. )