Anil Deshmukh appears before ED

November 01, 2021 03:17 pm | Updated 04:36 pm IST - Mumbai

Nationalist Congress leader Anil Deshmukh

Nationalist Congress leader Anil Deshmukh

Former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Monday appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) office for questioning in an alleged money laundering and extortion case against him, slamming the ‘witch-hunt campaign launched’ against him. 

“On account of a witch-hunt campaign launched at the instance of certain vested inimical interests, some blatantly false allegations have been levelled by those persons who have absolute no credibility, honour or pride. These unscrupulous persons are themselves knee-deep involved in several rackets of extortion, fraud and even murder. The principal person who held the high office of Commissioner of Police is now a wanted absconding criminal,” said Mr Deshmukh in a statement, referring to now absconding IPS officer Param Bir Singh.  

It was Mr Singh’s letter claiming the former minister seeking Rs 100 crore extortion money from hoteliers in Mumbai through now dismissed officer Sachin Waze, that led to the probe through central agencies including Central Bureau of Investigation and the ED. The ED had summoned him four times in the past but he failed to appear and had moved to the Bombay High Court seeking no coercive action against him. The court rejected his appeal last week, following which he appeared before the agency on Monday. 

Mr Deshmukh said that he has taken constitutional remedies for the protection of his life and liberty and his petition challenging the proceedings under PMLA is pending adjudication is pending before the Supreme Court.  

“A false narrative and an erroneous impression is being created by these vested interests that I am evading or avoiding to appear before the Enforcement Directorate. Undoubtedly, such propaganda is absolutely baseless. All that I have ever sought is a transparent, fair and objective probe without any fear or favour so that truth is not rendered a casualty,” said Mr Deshmukh.  

He said that he was keen to appear before the unbiased authorities and expose the falsity of the accusations against him.

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