The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday filed a supplementary prosecution complaint (chargesheet) against former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh in a money laundering and corruption case. The 7,000-page chargesheet, which also names Mr. Deshmukh’s sons, has been submitted before a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court. The agency has contended that the Deshmukh family controlled activities of 27 dummy companies.
Mr. Deshmukh was arrested by the Central agency on November 1 after being questioned for 12 hours. He was sent in ED custody till November 6 and is currently lodged at Mumbai’s Arthur Road Jail.
There are statements by bar owners and managers that reveal dismissed police officer Sachin Vaze, currently lodged at Taloja Central Jail, collected money from them, and he had said he was receiving direct instructions from Mr. Deshmukh to do so. He also said that he was told to collect ₹3 lakh a month from various bars and restaurants and that he handed over ₹4.7 crore from December 2020 to February 2021 to personal assistant Kundan Shinde on behalf of Mr. Deshmukh.
On August 23, 2021, the ED had submitted its charge sheet against Mr. Shinde, Mr. Deshmukh, and the latter’s private secretary, Sanjeev Palande.
It contained Mr. Palande’s statement admitting that Mr. Deshmukh had had a role in the transfer postings of police officers, especially the postings of Indian Police Service officers.
Param Bir Singh’s letter
The case dates back to March 20, 2021 when former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh wrote a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, alleging that Mr. Deshmukh abused his position and powers to seek illegal monetary benefits.
The letter alleged instances of Mr. Deshmukh directing Mr. Vaze and others to collect Rs. 100 crore from bars and restaurants over a month.
Soon thereafter, the High Court directed that a preliminary enquiry be held against Mr. Deshmukh by the CBI. The ED then stepped in and began conducting a probe into allegations of money laundering against him.
On April 21, a first information report (FIR) was registered against Mr. Deshmukh under Section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 7 (public servant taking gratification other than legal remuneration in respect of an official act) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.