MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday said its division bench (consisting of two judges), instead of a single-judge bench, will hear a plea filed by former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh against summons issued to him by the Enforcement Directorate. . money laundering case.
A single bench of Justice SK Shinde held that the objection raised by the HC Registry Department that the issues raised in the petition should be heard by a division bench, is “correct”. Justice Shinde directed the registry department to place Deshmukh’s petition before an appropriate bench for hearing.
Deshmukh had earlier this month filed a petition seeking quashing of five summons issued to him by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
Last week, when the petition came up for hearing before Justice Shinde, Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta, on behalf of the ED, brought to the notice of the HC a note addressed by the registry department, asking that the petition be heard by a division bench. Is.
Senior advocate Vikram Chaudhary and advocate Aniket Nikam, appearing for Deshmukh, said that the single bench has the right to hear the petition. The court had then said that it would look into the issue and pass orders.
The ED had launched a probe against Deshmukh and his associates after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed an FIR against the NCP leader on April 21 on charges of corruption and abuse of official position. Deshmukh claimed in his petition that the ED’s action was the result of political vendetta.
The plea also said that the agency’s entire case was based on “malicious statements” made by sacked police officer Sachin Vaze, who was in jail in February this year in connection with a vehicle laden with explosives near the residence of industrialist Mukesh Ambani. is closed. And then the murder of businessman Mansukh Hiren. “The statements made by Vaze, a tainted cop, are completely false and fabricated with an intention to defame the applicant (Deshmukh) and implicate him with malafide intentions,” the plea said.
Deshmukh refuted the claims made by the ED that while serving as the Home Minister of Maharashtra, he abused his official position and collected Rs 4.70 crore from various bars and restaurants in Mumbai through Waze.
The funds were allegedly diverted to the Nagpur-based Sri Sai Shikshan Sansthan, an education trust controlled by Deshmukh’s family. “The entire claim of Waze giving Rs 4.70 crore to the applicant (Deshmukh) and the same amount by the applicant’s family is factually incorrect,” the petition said.
The petition also states that the amount received to Sri Sai Educational Institute was a donation prior to the period in which Waze alleged that he had illegally received bribes from bars and restaurants. “No cash was ever received as illegal bribe from the bar owners as claimed by Waze,” the petition said.
The ED has so far arrested two people in this case. Sanjeev Palande (Additional Collector rank officer who served as Deshmukh’s personal secretary) and Kundan Shinde (Deshmukh’s personal assistant).
The agency had last month submitted a prosecution complaint (equivalent to a charge sheet) against the two before a special court. The CBI had registered an FIR against Deshmukh after conducting a preliminary inquiry against the NCP leader following a High Court order on April 5.
Deshmukh resigned as the state’s home minister on April 5, but has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.