Former Maharashtra minister Anil Deshmukh was sent to judicial custody for 14 days by a Mumbai court on Saturday in connection with a money laundering case, reported Bar and Bench.
The Enforcement Directorate, which is investigating the case, sought to extend its custody of the Nationalist Congress Party leader but the court denied the request.
On Monday, the former Maharashtra minister had appeared before the central agency after he was summoned for questioning for the sixth time in relation to the case. Deshmukh had skipped five summons sent to him.
He was questioned for 12 hours and then arrested. A court had sent him to the custody of the Enforcement Directorate till Saturday.
During Saturday’s hearing, the Enforcement Directorate sought Deshmukh’s custody, saying that it has not been able to procure some documents due to holidays and that the former minister had to be confronted with the other accused persons, reported Live Law.
The central agency claimed that Deshmukh’s responses to its questions have been evasive.
Senior advocate Vikram Chaudhri, representing Deshmukh, told the court that the central agency’s arguments were vague. He said that the Enforcement Directorate has failed to provide any new reasons to demand Deshmukh’s custody even after five days of interrogation.
Meanwhile, Anil Deshmukh’s son Hrishikesh Deshmukh has approached a sessions court seeking anticipatory bail in the same case. The court will hear his plea on on November 12.
The Enforcement Directorate had summoned Hrishikesh Deshmukh to appear before it on Friday but he skipped the summons, reported The Quint.
In March, former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh had accused Anil Deshmukh of coercing police officers to extort money on his behalf from the owners of bars and restaurants in the city.
Deshmukh repeatedly denied the accusations but resigned from the Maharashtra Cabinet on April 5 after the Bombay High Court directed the Central Bureau of Investigation to conduct a preliminary inquiry against him.
The CBI is investigating Deshmukh for exercising “undue influence” over the transfer and postings of police officers. On October 31, it arrested an alleged middleman in connection with the money laundering and corruption case.
The Enforcement Directorate is investigating Deshmukh based on the CBI inquiry. The economic intelligence agency has claimed that more than Rs 4 crore collected from bar owners in Mumbai between December and February was routed to Deshmukh’s charitable trust in Nagpur through four shell companies in Delhi.