The Bombay High Court has ordered the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to answer to former Maharashtra minister Anil Deshmukh’s bail application after he was detained in a money laundering case.
The financial inquiry agency’s attorney, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, asked for more time, claiming that they had only received the petition yesterday evening. The bail hearing has been rescheduled until April 8th.
Anil Deshmukh, 73, had requested bail due to his failing health and had called the ED’s allegations against him “false and baseless.”
As per the appeal, the whole case against Deshmukh is based on alleged statements recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, the “credibility” of which is a severe problem and will be established at the trial stage. The ED’s reliance on these claims is completely improper and unwarranted, it added.
Deshmukh was detained by the Enforcement Directorate on November 2, 2021. He went to the High Court after a special court refused him bail earlier this month.
According to the ED, Anil Deshmukh, while acting as the state Home Minister, allegedly abused his official position by extorting Rs 4.7 crore from several Mumbai bars through Sachin Waze, a police officer who was fired after his detention in connection with the Antilia bomb scare case. The funds were sent through Nagpur-based Shri Sai Shikshan Sansthan, an educational charity run by the Deshmukh family.
The plea also defended the different decisions made by Anil Deshmukh as Maharashtra’s Home Minister.
According to Anil Deshmukh’s appeal, all of the central agency’s claims and investigations contain testimonies from various witnesses who have disputed the allegations of money demand under oath before the single-member Chandiwal Committee.