Mumbai: Former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh has been asked to appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for questioning early next week after he sought a fresh date for appearance in a money laundering case related to an alleged multi-crore bribery-cum-extortion racket that led to his resignation in April, officials said. The 71-year-old Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader was asked to depose before the investigating officer at the agency office in Ballard Estate here by 11 am.
However, he did not turn up and instead sent his lawyers to the ED office seeking case documents and a fresh date for appearance. Official sources said Deshmukh has now been asked to appear next week by Tuesday. Earlier, lawyers of Deshmukh handed over a letter written by the politician to the investigators. “He (Deshmukh) will not appear today. We have not been given documents related to this case and we have given a letter to ED demanding these documents and case details in which he is to be questioned. We will furnish our reply accordingly,” lawyer Jayvant Patil told reporters outside the ED office.
The central agency early on Saturday arrested his personal secretary Sanjeev Palande (51) and personal assistant Kundan Shinde (45) after it carried out raids against them and Deshmukh in Mumbai and Nagpur on Friday. The aides were brought to the ED office for questioning following the searches and arrested subsequently. They were sent to ED custody till July 1 by a special PMLA here.
The ED case against Deshmukh and others was made out after the CBI first carried out a preliminary inquiry followed by a regular case being filed on the orders of the Bombay High Court. The court had asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to look into the allegations of bribery made against Deshmukh by former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh.