The ‘lookout’ circular issued against Deshmukh will prevent him from fleeing the country since he has skipped at least five ED summons
THE Enforcement Directorate (ED) has widened its probe into the alleged money laundering and kickbacks case registered against former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and others as it plans to soon question a number of people linked to him, officials said on Monday. Deshmukh has refused to comply with at least five ED summons for questioning in the case and has instead suggested the agency to interact with him over an online link saying he was a “law abiding citizen.” The agency also has notified a look out circular against him soon after filing an FIR in this case in April, the sources added.
The circular is notified to all the land, sea and airports so that authorities deployed there are legally empowered to stop the person named on the dossier and they simultaneously inform the investigating agency about the detainee. The agency on Monday questioned a Deputy Regional Transport Officer (RTO) officer Bajrang Kharmate, a close-aide of Anil Parab in the case here even as summons to several other individuals from various Government departments and in the personal circle of the NCP leader are expected to be issued. Maharashtra Transport Minister and Shiv Sena leader Anil Parab was also asked to join the probe and was issued summons last month by the ED in this case but he skipped appearance citing his official commitments. Parab, 56, is also a Minister of Parliamentary Affairs in the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) Government led by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and he is understood to have sought a fortnight to depose before the agency.
The criminal investigation being carried out by the ED pertains to the alleged Rs 100 crore bribery-cum-extortion racket in the Maharashtra police establishment that led to Deshmukh’s resignation in April. Official sources said the agency is also looking at all legal options it can exercise to get 71-year-old Deshmukh to join the investigation after he got no relief against the ED action from the Supreme Court.