MUMBAI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday submitted its prosecution complaint (equivalent to chargesheet) against two aides of former Maharashtra home minister and NCP leader Anil Deshmukh in connection with a money laundering case before a special court here.
The chargesheet was filed before the special court assigned to hear matters related to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against Deshmukh’s private secretary (an additional collector-rank officer) Sanjeev Palande and personal assistant Kundan Shinde.
The duo was arrested in the case by ED in June this year and are presently in jail.
The ED had launched a probe against Deshmukh and his associates after the CBI filed an FIR against the senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader on April 21 on charges of corruption and misuse of official position.
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The ED’s chargesheet against Palande and Shinde was submitted along with documentary evidence.
Shinde’s advocate Ejaz Khan on Monday said they are yet to receive a copy of the chargesheet.
“Shinde has been in judicial custody since July 6 but not questioned yet. He has been simply detained. Today a chargesheet has been filed,” Khan said.
Deshmukh was summoned by the ED five times in the past for questioning but he failed to appear.
The ED’s case is that while serving as state home minister, Deshmukh misused his official position and through assistant police inspector Sachin Waze, who has been dismissed from service after his arrest in the ‘Antilia’ bomb scare and Mansukh Hiran killing cases, collected Rs 4.70 crore from various bars in Mumbai.
The money was laundered to Nagpur-based Shri Sai Shikshan Sansthan, an educational trust controlled by the Deshmukh family.
Both Palande and Shinde had played an important role in circulating and laundering the unaccounted money, according to the anti-money laundering agency Deshmukh while skipping the summons had said that though the Supreme Court had not granted him any interim relief, the apex court had given him liberty to seek appropriate remedy available under the law, and accordingly he has decided to move the appropriate court.
Deshmukh had requested ED officials to wait for the outcome of the court proceedings, and in the meantime, had offered to make himself available for recording his statement virtually.
The Central Bureau of Investigation registered an FIR against Deshmukh after the agency conducted a preliminary enquiry (PE) against him for alleged corruption as directed by the Bombay HC on April 5.
The HC had ordered the PE based on the petitions filed by advocate Jayshri Patil and former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh, who had levelled allegations of corruption and malpractices against the NCP leader.
Deshmukh resigned as state home minister on April 5 but had denied any wrongdoing.