Former Maharashtra Home Minister and Nationalist Congress Party leader Anil Deshmukh on Monday skipped the third summons issued to him by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case, ANI reported. Instead, he wrote a letter to the agency, claiming that the investigation against him was not transparent.
Former Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh had in March accused Deshmukh of extorting money from bars and restaurants in the city, triggering a political row in the state. Deshmukh constantly 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 CBI filed a First Information Report against Deshmukh in April. Based on that FIR, the Enforcement Directorate filed a case against him in May.
On Sunday, Deshmukh moved the Supreme Court, seeking protection from coercive action in the money laundering case.
In his letter to ED’s Assistant Director Tassine Sultan on Monday, Deshmukh said he approached the court to protect his fundamental rights, according to ANI.
“A series of events have given rise to a bonafide apprehension in my mind that neither the procedure of law is being followed nor any objective, impartial or transparent investigations are being carried out,” Deshmukh claimed
“It is my basic constitutional and fundamental right as a citizen to be subjected to fair, impartial, unprejudicial, unbiased objective and transparent investigations by following the procedure established by law,” Deshmukh added in the letter, according to The Indian Express.
The former Maharashtra minister urged the Enforcement Directorate to defer the summons and await the Supreme Court’s order on his petition. “I am expecting the listing and hearing of the petition in the next few days,” he said, according to the newspaper.
On June 25, the Enforcement Directorate had raided Deshmukh’s home in Nagpur in connection with the case. The investigating agency had summoned him after the raids, but Deshmukh sought more time. The agency then asked him to appear at on June 29, which he again chose to skip.
The Enforcement Directorate had arrested Deshmukh’s private secretary Sanjeev Palande and private assistant Kundan Shinde last month.