MUMBAI: A Special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court on Saturday sent former Maharashtra Home Minister and senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Anil Deshmukh to 14-day judicial custody.
Deshmukh was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on November 2 after 12 hours of questioning in connection with the money laundering probe for alleged misuse of office and corruption.
Deshmukh was brought before the court after the completion of his ED custody. The ED had demanded for nine days custody of Deshmukh but the court rejected the agency’s request.
Deshmukh had deposed before the ED on November 1 after skipping several summons of the financial probe agency and was arrested after 12 hours of questioning.
On November 2, a PMLA court had sent Deshmukh to ED custody till November 6.
Meanwhile, his son Hrishikesh also moved a Mumbai court for anticipatory bail. The ED had summoned his son Hrishikesh to appear before it on Thursday. He skipped the summons following which the agency once again asked him to appear before it on Friday. But Hrishikesh skipped the agency’s second summons too.
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.
Deshmukh has been accused of extortion from a bunch of Mumbai orchestra bars and of money laundering.
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.
Param Bir Singh, former Commissioner of Mumbai Police, in his letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, had alleged that Deshmukh had indulged in “malpractices” and asked Waze to collect Rs 100 crore every month.