The Bombay High Court on Sunday sent former Maharashtra minister and Nationalist Congress Party leader Anil Deshmukh to Enforcement Directorate’s custody till November 12 in a money laundering case, PTI reported.
A bench of Justice Madhav Jamdar was hearing an application filed by the Enforcement Directorate, challenging a special court order. The Mumbai court had on Saturday remanded Deshmukh to 14-day judicial custody.
Deshmukh’s counsels Vikram Chaudhri and Aniket Nikam on Sunday opposed the plea on “merits and maintainability”. However, they told the court that Deshmukh had agreed to be interrogated by the Enforcement Directorate.
The special court on Saturday had denied the Enforcement Directorate’s request seeking extension of Deshmukh’s custody.
The central agency had arrested Deshmukh late on November 1 after questioning him for 12 hours. He had appeared for interrogation after skipping the agency’s summons five times.
The Enforcement Directorate claimed that Deshmukh’s responses to its questions had been evasive. Deshmukh’s counsel had said that the Enforcement Directorate had failed to provide any new reasons to demand the politician’s custody even after five days of interrogation.
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 central 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.