Anil Deshmukh had gone to the ED office for questioning around 11:40 am yesterday.
The Enforcement Directorate has arrested NCP leader and former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh last night after over 12 hours of questioning in an alleged extortion racket-linked money-laundering case involving the state police establishment. The ED said that Deshmukh was arrested under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The ED claimed that Deshmukh tried to evade questions during the questioning leading to his arrest. The ED will seek his custody after producing him before a local court today.
Deshmukh had gone to the ED office for questioning around 11:40 am yesterday. Deshmukh appeared before the agency after the Bombay High Court last week refused to quash ED summonses against him. Deshmukh had skipped at least five ED notices before. Former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh and now suspended inspector Sachin Vaze had made corruption allegations of at least Rs 100 crore against Deshmukh, who was then Maharashtra Home Minister. Following the allegations, the money laundering case against Deshmukh and others was made out after and the CBI booked him in the corruption case.
Deshmukh had resigned in April after being booked by the CBI and under pressure from the opposition. He had denied any wrongdoing. He was also grilled on a number of subjects including the disclosures made by Vaze. Before going to the ED office, Deshmukh released a video message saying he himself is deposing before the agency after the last week’s Bombay HC order.
The Bombay High Court had said in its order that if Deshmukh apprehended his arrest by either the ED or the CBI, he had the right that was available to any other citizen or litigant to approach the appropriate court to seek protection. The ED also had attached assets worth Rs 4.20 crore that was stated to be “beneficially owned” by Deshmukh. It claimed the probe found that “Deshmukh, while acting as home minister of Maharashtra, with dishonest intention has received illegal gratification of approximately Rs 4.70 crore in cash from various orchestra bar owners, through (suspended) Sachin Waze, then the assistant police inspector of Mumbai Police.”