A special holiday court in Mumbai today sent former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh to 14-day judicial custody in connection with the money laundering case against him. The court refused to grant the Enforcement Directorate (ED) additional custody for nine days.
Police or agency custody means that the police/agency has the physical custody of the accused while judicial custody implies that the accused is in the custody of the concerned court. In the former, the accused is lodged in a police station lockup or a location of the agency concerned while, in the latter, the accused is in jail.
Meanwhile, the former minister’s son Hrishikesh Deshmukh approached the court with an anticipatory bail plea in the case filed by the ED. The court has posted the matter for final hearing on 12 November, refusing to grant interim relief till then. According to reports, the ED had summoned Hrishikesh for questioning on Friday.
The probe agency had arrested Deshmukh on 2 November under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), almost six months after it first registered a case against him.
The ED’s case is based on the first information report (FIR) filed by the CBI in April 2021 alleging corruption and bribery by the then minister. During its probe, the ED found that Deshmukh, while acting as the home minister, “received illegal gratification of approximately Rs 4.7 crore in cash from various orchestra bar owners” between December 2020 and February 2021 through the now-dismissed Mumbai police assistant inspector Sachin Vaze.
The CBI’s FIR came after former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh alleged that Deshmukh had asked police officers, including Vaze, to collect Rs 100 crore, including Rs 40-50 crore each month from 1,750 bars and restaurants in Mumbai.
Vaze was sent to additional police custody till 13 November today in connection with the extortion case. He had been lodged at the Taloja Jail for his alleged involvement in the Ambani security scare case.
The Mumbai Police crime branch had taken custody of the dismissed policeman on 1 November to probe into a complaint filed by a restaurant owner alleging that the accused had extorted money at the behest of Deshmukh. A total of Rs 11.92 lakh was allegedly taken from the complainant.