The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday issued a third summons to former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh, asking him to appear before them on July 05 to record his statement in connection with the money laundering case registered by the agency against Deshmukh. Deshmukh had twice earlier skipped ED summons stating that the agency should provide him with the documents and ECIR copy pertaining to the case and also showed willingness for any audio-visual interaction.
The agency had issued the second summons to Deshmukh on June 29, but Deshmukh had sent a written communication to the ED stating, "I have been repeatedly highlighting that the proceedings being initiated against me are at the instance of certain individuals who are themselves guilty of grave offences and have dubious antecedents as also the fact that a political tug of war has been initiated by the Central Government led by a particular political party who seek to abuse their power and authority for vested interest and extraneous considerations to suppress and oppress their political opponents like me. My case, in particular, is an example of such abuse."
"In terms of your earlier summons and requirement of documents, please supply me a copy of ECIR and a list of documents so that I can render effective assistance. Record my statement on the audio-visual mode of any nature at whatever time convenient to you. Your summons do not clarify the particular purpose of my personal appearance. I have learnt from the media reports that you arrested two persons who were associated with me. Therefore, insistence on personal appearance without even supplying me with a copy of ECIR or documents may strengthen my assertion that there is some kind of malice being nursed against me. I am sanguine that you shall act within the four corners of law and will not deny me the right of being heard," the communication had stated.
On June 28, Nagpur-based advocate Tarun Parmar had visited the ED office to record his statement in connection with the money laundering case registered by the agency against Deshmukh. The agency has also issued fresh summons to Deshmukh to record his statement on Tuesday. Parmar had reportedly complained to the agency on June 19, accusing Deshmukh and a few others of money laundering, following which the agency summoned him to record his statement and provide necessary documents pertaining to his claims.
The agency had issued first summons to Deshmukh asking him to appear before them on June 26. On June 25, ED had arrested Deshmukh’s personal secretary Sanjeev Palande and personal assistant Kundan Shinde under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The ED claims it has found a trail of Rs 4 crore allegedly extorted from nearly a dozen bar owners by assistant police inspector Sachin Waze, (now dismissed from service) over a few months. Sources claim that the said amount was allegedly diverted to Deshmukh through a complex web of shell companies, which is also being probed by the ED.
Following this revelation, ED officials conducted searches at Deshmukh’s residences in Nagpur and Mumbai and a few other places on June 25.
Turn of events
March 20: Former Mumbai CP Param Bir Singh sends a letter to CM Uddhav Thackeray. Singh alleged that then state home minister Anil Deshmukh asked Sachin Waze to collect Rs 100 crore per month from bars, dance bars, pubs and restaurants.
April 05: Deshmukh resigns
April 06: CBI registers preliminary enquiry.
April 14: CBI records statements of Deshmukh, his two personal assistants, a Kandivali bar owner and two drivers of Waze.
April 24: CBI had registered an FIR against Deshmukh and others under corruption charges.
May 11: ED registers Enforcement Case Information Report against Deshmukh based on the CBI FIR.
June 24: ED records statement of DCP Raju Bhujbal, currently in charge of the enforcement wing of Mumbai Police and social service branch that conducts raids on pubs, dance bars, hookah parlours, bars and restaurants.
June 25: ED arrests Deshmukh’s personal secretary Sanjeev Palande and personal assistant Kundan Shinde under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
June 25: Deshmukh’s residences searched.