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ED arrests ex-Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh in money laundering case

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on corruption and money laundering charges. The Central Agency questioned Mr. Deshmukh for a full 12 hours on Monday when he appeared before ED.

The Bombay High Court rejected Mr. Deshmukh’s plea to quash the summons against him on October 29. The ED searched the residence of Mr. Deshmukh and his son on June 25, 2021, and issued summonses against him, requiring him to appear on an appointed date. On June 28 and July 2, two more summonses were issued. On all three occasions, Mr. Deshmukh sent his authorized representative a written response. The ED sent a fourth summons on July 30, and then issued a provisional attachment order on July 16, 2021.

It all began on March 20, 2021, when former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh wrote a letter to the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray alleging that Mr. Deshmukh was abusing his position and power to obtain illegal monetary benefits. In the letter, Deshmukh was alleged to have instructed suspended police officer Sachin Vaze and others to collect Rs 100 crores over a month from bars and restaurants.

Following this, the High Court directed the Central Bureau of Investigation to conduct a preliminary investigation against Mr. Deshmukh. A probe was then launched by the ED into allegations of money laundering against Mr. Deshmukh. On April 21, an FIR was filed against Mr. Deshmukh under section 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and section 7 (public servant taking gratification other than legal remuneration for an official act) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

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