Anil Deshmukh Once Again Skips ED Summons

Mumbai: Former Maharashtra Home Minister and senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Anil Deshmukh, who is being probed in an alleged money laundering case, skipped the Enforcement Directorate (ED) summons for questioning once again on Monday.

“Deshmukh has skipped summons and has sent a two-page letter to the agency through his advocate,” an ED official related to the probe told IANS.

This is for the third time Deshmukh has skipped ED summons in connection with the case. The official said the financial probe agency had sent fresh summons to Deshmukh and his son Hrishikesh Deshmukh on Friday asking them to join the probe with the agency on Monday.

On Friday, the Supreme Court did not grant any protection from arrest to Deshmukh on his plea seeking protection from any “coercive action” in the money laundering case registered against him by the ED and scheduled the matter for hearing on August 3.

Deshmukh, who had skipped the previous summonses by the agency, had, in the plea to the top court, challenged these summonses and sought protection for both himself and his son.

Deshmukh has been accused of extortion from a bunch of Mumbai orchestra bars and money laundering, and the matter is being probed by the ED.

It has been alleged that Rs 4.7 crore was collected as “extortion” from the orchestra bars by the now-dismissed Mumbai police officer Sachin Waze allegedly on Deshmukh’s instructions.

Later, this amount was transferred to Deshmukh’s Nagpur-based educational trust by his son, Hrishikesh.

According to the allegation, the transaction was routed via two hawala operators and was showed as a “donation”.

The 71-year-old NCP leader is the president of the trust and his two sons, Salil and Hrishikesh, are trustees.

On May 11, a case was registered against the former minister and on June 25, the ED raided Deshmukh’s residences in Nagpur, Mumbai, and three other places.

In April, the CBI had conducted raids at four premises of Deshmukh after registering an FIR against him in connection with the case.

Param Bir Singh, former Commissioner of Mumbai Police, in his letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, alleged that Deshmukh had indulged in “malpractices” and asked Waze to collect Rs 100 crore every month.

Earlier this week, the top court had adjourned the matter for a hearing on Friday and asked Deshmukh’s legal counsel to provide a copy of the plea to the ED and the Maharashtra government.

The ED had earlier arrested Deshmukh’s personal secretary Sanjeev Palande and personal assistant Kundan Shinde after carrying out raids against them and the NCP leader in Mumbai and Nagpur.

(IANS)