Former Maharashtra minister Anil Deshmukh apparently received Rs 4.7 crore from his assistant Kundan Shinde and dismissed Mumbai Police officer Sachin Vaze, a Mumbai court said on Thursday after taking note of a chargesheet filed by the Enforcement Directorate, PTI reported on Sunday.
The Enforcement Directorate’s case is based on a first information report filed in April by the Central Bureau of Investigation, which is conducting a probe into allegations that Deshmukh coerced police officers to extort money on his behalf from restaurant and bar owners in Mumbai.
The economic investigation agency has claimed that more than Rs 4 crore collected from bar owners between December 2020 and February 2021 was routed to Deshmukh’s charitable trust in Nagpur through four shell companies in Delhi.
Vaze, Shinde, Deshmukh’s private secretary Sanjeev Palande are among the 14 persons named as accused in the Enforcement Directorate’s chargesheet.
In an order on Thursday, MG Deshpande, the judge at the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act court, said: “On careful perusal of the statements and charge showing trail of money prima-facie indicate that Rs 4.7 crore received by Anil Deshmukh from Sachin Waze and Kundan Shinde.”
The court added that Deshmukh, on his son Hrishikesh Deshmukh’s instructions, transferred the money through parallel and illegal methods to two other accused persons named Surendra Jain and Virendra Jain, according to PTI.
“Then both of them through their companies which are on paper only, deposited the said amount by RTGS/ cheques in the account of Shri Sai Shikshan Sanstha, which is owned by Anil Deshmukh,” the judge said, according to The Times of India.
The judge added that there was sufficient basis to begin a case against the accused. “The said amount which was laundered through shell companies prima facie indicates the proceeds of crime, pointing out involvement of the accused in the said money trail,” he added.
Corruption allegations against Deshmukh
In March, former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh had alleged that Deshmukh asked Vaze to collect Rs 100 crore every month through illegal channels.
Deshmukh repeatedly denied the accusations, but resigned from the state Cabinet on April 5 after the Bombay High Court directed the Central Bureau of Investigation to conduct a preliminary inquiry against him.
The Enforcement Directorate has asked Deshmukh to appear before it five times, but he has skipped all of the summons.