Mumbai: Declining to accept the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) plea for further 9 days custody, holiday Special Court Judge P. R. Sitre on Saturday sent former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, nabbed in a money-laundering case, to 14 days’ judicial custody.
Simultaneously, his son Hrishikesh Deshmukh – summoned by the ED for questioning in the same case – has approached the sessions court seeking anticipatory bail and his plea will be heard on November 12.
Anil Deshmukh, a senior Nationalist Congress Party leader, was nabbed early on November 2 after he was questioned by the ED for over 13 hours on November 1 and sent to 4 days custody of the agency.
The case arises out of the allegations levelled by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh – currently “missing”- accusing Deshmukh of allegedly setting a monthly “collection target” of Rs 100 crore from hoteliers to his former aide, now dismissed cop Sachin Vaze.
Seeking extension of custody for 9 days, the ED said that owing to the holidays, they were unable to procure certain documents, Deshmukh’s replies were evasive, and he needed to be confronted with the others accused involved in the case.
Opposing the ED’s plea, Deshmukh’s legal team comprising senior advocate Vikram Chaudhri, Aniket Nikam and Inderpal Singh argued that the grounds are vague and despite five days of continuous interrogations, the ED has not given any fresh reasons for a more custodial probe.
Deshmukh has consistently denied the allegations hurled against him by Singh and Vaze and in a video statement, questioned where is the ex-Mumbai top cop, who is wanted in several cases, who made the accusations and is now gone untraceable.