The Enforcement Directorate on Monday arrested former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh in a money laundering case. Deshmukh was arrested by the central government agency after 12 hours of questioning at the ED office in Mumbai.
Deshmukh, who has denied allegations against him, had to step down from his ministry in April this year after the Bombay High Court ordered an inquiry in allegations of corruption made by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh.
A division of the Bombay High Court comprising Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish Kulkarni had said that the allegations made by Singh were ‘extraordinary’ and ‘unprecedented’ adding that they warranted an independent probe.
Singh had sensationally alleged that Deshmukh ordered the dismissed police inspector, Sachin Vaze, to collect Rs. 100 crore every month for him. Singh had earlier approached the Supreme Court, which asked him to approach the high court seeking a CBI probe into his allegations.
Singh had shot an extraordinary letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray accusing Deshmukh of corruption after he was removed from his post for lapses in the case pertaining to the discovery of an explosive-laden SUV from outside the house of Mukesh Ambani.
Param Bir Singh is untraceable prompting Deshmukh to allege that the former top cop had left the country. Deshmukh on Monday had tweeted that he will appear before the ED for the questioning.
“My case is still pending in the Supreme Court…Where’s Param Bir Singh, who made allegations against me?” Deshmukh had asked in a video message.
Maharashtra is governed by a coalition of three political parties namely the Shiv Sena, the Congress and the NCP. The central government, which controls the ED is governed by the BJP under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The BJP had suffered a defeat in Maharashtra in the last assembly polls.