The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has moved an application before the Special Court seeking action against Anil Deshmukh under Section 174 of the IPC, for failing to appear before the agency despite being summoned multiple times in a money laundering case.
Section 174 of the IPC (non-attendance in obedience to an order from public servant) attracts a simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month, or fine up to five hundred rupees or both.
Earlier, the dismissed Assistant Police Inspector (API), Sachin Waze, had named Deshmukh as the person who asked him to collect money from bars and restaurants in Mumbai and gave instructions in the high-profile cases being investigated by the Mumbai Police, while being the Home Minister.
The probe agency had issued multiple summonses to Deshmukh in the money laundering case registered against him. However, the NCP leader has failed to appear before it so far. Two of Deshmukh's aides, Sanjeev Palande and Kundan Shinde, have been arrested in the case. They are currently in judicial custody.
Besides the duo, the probe agency in its charge-sheet filed recently, has also named Sachin Waze as an accused. However, Deshmukh or his family members have not been accused in the charge sheet.
The ED launched a probe against Deshmukh and his associates after the CBI filed an FIR against the NCP leader on April 21, after former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh accused him of corruption. Singh had alleged that Deshmukh had asked Waze to collect Rs 100 crore from city bars and hotels every month, a charge denied by the former minister. Deshmukh resigned as a minister in April this year.
In his statement before the ED, Waze alleged that, at a meeting held in October, 2020 at Deshmukh's residence, Deshmukh gave him a list of 1,750 bars and restaurants and asked him to collect Rs 3 lakh each from these establishments for granting various favours.
He also claimed that he got instructions from Deshmukh on the TRP rigging case where some TV channels were accused of manipulating TRP to inflate viewership. It is also recorded in the statement that Deshmuk gave instructions to Waze in the abetment to suicide case relating to the death of architect Anvay Naik, in which journalist Arnab Goswami was arrested.
With PTI inputs