In the money laundering case, the Bombay high court’s vacation bench granted the Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody of former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh till November 12. After a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court denied the ED extra custody of Deshmukh and sentenced him to 14 days in judicial custody, the ED filed a petition with the HC on Saturday night.
The ED contended before Justice Madhav Jamdar’s single judge bench that the money laundering investigation was at a critical stage, and that refusing to extend Deshmukh’s custody would jeopardise the entire investigation.
Deshmukh’s lawyers, senior advocate Vikram Chaudhri and attorney Aniket Nikam, claimed they were not challenging ED’s plea and were willing to cooperate since the day the NCP leader visited ED’s office on November 2 and was arrested after 12 hours of interrogation.
Justice Jamdar awarded ED custody of Deshmukh until November 12 after hearing the arguments.
Deshmukh was arrested by the ED in connection with a CBI investigation into allegations made by former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh that the former home minister was running an extortion racket in the city with the help of police officers who he allegedly ordered to collect Rs 100 crore from bars and restaurants every month.
Deshmukh earned 4.7 crore from discharged police officer Sachin Vaze, according to the ED, which was gathered from several pubs and eateries. The agency also claims that Deshmukh laundered the money through a Delhi-based shell business and received the money in the Shree Sai Shikshan Sanstha, a family trust.
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