Deshmukh feels ED’s investigation against him unjustified, hence not joining probe: His lawyer
FORMER Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh feels that the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) investigation against him in an alleged money laundering case is not justified, and hence he is not joining the probe, his lawyer said on Wednesday. Addressing a press conference here, Deshmukh’s lawyer Kamlesh Ghumre also alleged that the ED investigation looks more like “harassment” than a genuine probe. The ED had earlier issued multiple summonses to Deshmukh, asking him to record his statement.
However, the NCP leader (72), had skipped the summonses citing his “vulnerability” to COVID-19 as the reason for non-compliance. He has instead offered the central agency to record his statement through video conferencing. Deshmukh has also moved the Supreme Court seeking protection from any coercive action in the case. The ED case against Deshmukh and others was made out after the CBI booked him in a corruption case related to allegations of at least Rs 100 crore bribery made by former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh earlier this year. “Deshmukh feels this investigation is not justified, hence he is not joining the investigation...Whatever documents the probe agency wants, it should at least tell us,” advocate Ghumre said.
Although there are digital platforms and other ways, Deshmukh is being asked to directly join questioning, he said. “ED’s probe is looking like more of harassment and not a genuine investigation,” he alleged. The lawyer said summonses were issued by the ED. “But we have approached the Supreme Court for relief,” the lawyer said. In his letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray after he was removed from the police commissioner’s post, Param Bir Singh had alleged that Anil Deshmukh had asked (now dismissed) police officer Sachin Waze to extort over Rs 100 crore a month from bars and restaurants in Mumbai.