Former Maharashtra Minister Anil Deshmukh files for bail in money laundering case

He seeks relief on the grounds that no cognisance of chargesheet was taken by court

Mumbai

The former Home Minister of Maharashtra Anil Deshmukh on Tuesday filed for bail in a money laundering case against him.

Mr. Deshmukh, 71, currently lodged at Arthur Road Jail, filed for statutory bail on the grounds that no cognisance of the chargesheet was taken by the Prevention Of Money Laundering Act Court.

He was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on November 1 after being questioned for 12 hours. He was sent to the agency’s custody till November 6.

On December 29, the ED filed a supplementary chargesheet against Mr. Deshmukh and his two sons.

The case dates back to March 20, 2021, when the former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh wrote a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray alleging Mr. Deshmukh abused his position and power to seek illegal monetary benefits.

The letter alleged instances of Mr. Deshmukh directing suspended police officer Sachin Vaze and others to collect ₹100 crore over a month from bars and restaurants.

Soon thereafter, the High Court directed a preliminary CBI inquiry against Mr. Deshmukh. The ED then stepped in and started conducting a probe into allegations of money laundering against Mr. Deshmukh.

On April 21, an FIR was registered against the former Minister under Section 120 B (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.

As per the ED’s probe, 11 companies were directly controlled by family members of Mr. Deshmukh and another 13 companies were in the names of close associates of his family. Bank account statements showed that money was flowing from companies indirectly controlled by Mr. Deshmukh’s family members to companies directly controlled by his family members.

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