Mumbai: A court here Friday asked former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh to appear before it November 16. The court said Anil Deshmukh willfully ignored summons by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate RM Nerlikar Deshmukh ‘issued process’ against Deshmukh under IPC section 174.
The ED’s summonses were received by Deshmukh in person, or by his daughter or advocate on his behalf, the court noted. The ED issued the summonses under the Prevention of Money Laundering (PMLA), but the ‘accused (Deshmukh) however willfully neglected and failed to appear before the complainant and has thus committed an offence under section 174 of the Indian Penal Code,” the magistrate said.
The ED moved the court last week seeking action against Deshmukh under section 174 (non-attendance in obedience to an order from public servant) for failing to appear before the agency. Offence under section 174 attracts a simple imprisonment for up to one month or fine up to Rs 5,000 or both.
The probe agency told the court that it issued summons to Deshmukh five times between June and August this year. However, he did not heed them. Deshmukh’s aides Sanjeev Palande and Kundan Shinde have been already arrested in the case.
The central agency, in its charge sheet, also named dismissed Mumbai police officer Sachin Waze as an accused. But Deshmukh or his family members have not been named as accused in the charge sheet.
The ED launched a parallel probe after the CBI filed an FIR against the NCP leader April 21 this year following former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh’s accusations. Singh alleged that Deshmukh had asked Waze to collect Rs 100 crore from city bars and hotels every month, a charge denied by the NCP leader. Deshmukh resigned as minister subsequently.