The Income Tax Department on Friday conducted searches at several locations linked to Nationalist Congress Party leader Anil Deshmukh in connection with a case related to alleged tax evasion, reported The Economic Times.
The Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate are already investigating money laundering and extortion allegations against the former Maharashtra minister.
The raids on Friday were conducted in Deshmukh’s properties in Mumbai and Nagpur in Maharashtra, and in Rajasthan’s Jaipur city, an unidentified I-T official told PTI.
An educational institute on whose management board Deshmukh and his relatives serve were part of the raids conducted on Friday, according to The Times of India. One of the places raided reportedly includes an apartment in Nagpur that has links to Deshmukh’s associate.
The action came a day after the Enforcement Directorate filed a chargesheet in the case against Deshmukh, reported The Times of India.
The agency has alleged that the politician and one of his accomplices had received Rs 20 crore each in exchange for reversing a controversial order by former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh, according to the newspaper.
The Enforcement Directorate’s prosecution complaint also said that Deshmukh, his relatives, and close associates had formed a “complex web of companies” and operated various businesses, reported India Today.
“Further, unaccounted money had been infused in one of the companies controlled by the Deshmukh family and then, the same had been rotated into other companies for expanding the business empire of the Deshmukh family. In this matter, an investigation is under progress,” the Enforcement Directorate said, according to the news channel.
The cases against Anil Deshmukh
The Enforcement Directorate is investigating Deshmukh’s role in the alleged money laundering case based on a First Information Report filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation.
The CBI is conducting an investigation on Bombay High Court’s directions into allegations that Deshmukh coerced police officers to extort money on his behalf from the owners of bars and restaurants in Mumbai. The former Mumbai Police chief had levelled the allegations of extortion in March.
Singh had alleged that dismissed police officer Sachin Vaze told him that Deshmukh had asked him to collect Rs 100 crore every month through illegal channels.
The Enforcement Directorate has claimed that more than Rs 4 crore collected from bar owners between December and February was routed to Deshmukh’s charitable trust in Nagpur through four shell companies in Delhi.
The central agency has so far arrested Deshmukh’s private secretary Sanjeev Palande and private assistant Kundan Shinde in connection with the case.
Meanwhile, five summons have been issued by the Enforcement Directorate to Deshmukh to appear before the agency. But the Nationalist Congress Party leader has not appeared before it yet.
Earlier this month, the Enforcement Directorate had issued a lookout notice against the former Maharashtra minister.