New Delhi:- The Supreme Court on Monday refused to grant interim relief to former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, who had sought protection from any coercive action in a money-laundering case.
Deshmukh’s counsel submitted that the entire matter was a “witch hunt” but a bench headed by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar said that it is not inclined to grant any interim relief and the petitioner is at liberty to access remedies under the CrPC.
The senior NCP leader had moved the top court seeking protection from any coercive action by the Enforcement Directorate in the money-laundering case.
Deshmukh’s counsel argued another summons has been issued on him and cited that the agency has already arrested his private secretary and personal assistant.
Deshmukh has been allegedly accused of money-laundering, and the matter is being probed by the ED for the alleged extortion from a bunch of orchestra bars in Mumbai. It has been alleged that Rs 4.7 crore was collected as “extortion” from the orchestra bars by now dismissed Mumbai police officer Sachin Waze allegedly on Deshmukh’s instructions. Later, this amount was transferred to Deshmukh’s Nagpur-based educational trust by his son, Hrishikesh.
According to the allegation, the transaction was routed via two hawala operators and was showed as a “donation”. The 71-year-old NCP leader is the president of the trust and his two sons, Salil and Hrishikesh, are trustees.
On May 11, a case was registered against the former Minister and on June 25, the ED raided Deshmukh’s residences in Nagpur, Mumbai, and three other places. In April, the CBI had conducted raids at four premises of Deshmukh after registering an FIR against him in connection with the case.
Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh had, in his letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, alleged that Deshmukh had indulged in “malpractices” and asked Waze to collect Rs 100 crore every month.