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HomePoliticsIndiaVaze played key role in extortion from bars at behest of Deshmukh

Vaze played key role in extortion from bars at behest of Deshmukh

Deshmukh had asked a private person to hand over a list of bars and orchestra owners in Mumbai to Vaze, the ED submitted before the court

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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) told a special court on 6 November that Mumbai Police officer played a key role in collecting “illegal gratification” from bar owners while in service as directed by then Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.

The ED was seeking the extension of Anil Deshmukh’s custody for another nine days. However, the special holiday court PR Sitre rejected the agency’s demand and remanded Deshmukh in for 14 days instead.

Anil Deshmukh was arrested by the ED late Monday night after 12 hours of questioning. A court on Tuesday remanded him in the agency’s custody till 6 November. He was produced before the special court at the end of his ED custody.

Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, along with lawyers Shreeram Sirsat and DP Singh, appeared for the ED and said that Deshmukh had asked a private person to hand over a list of bars and orchestra owners in Mumbai to Vaze.

ASG Anil Singh argued that Anil Deshmukh, by virtue of his earlier position as Home Minister of Maharashtra, received amounts to the tune of approximately Rs 4.70 crore, collected from the orchestra bar owners/managers for their smooth functioning. Part of this money was allegedly donated to his trust Shri Sai Shikshan Sanstha to evade the scanner of probe agencies, he said.

He said that Deshmukh’s statements were recorded four times between 3 and 6 November “where he continued to remain evasive in his replies and was giving vague answers”.

Anil Singh said, “During course of recording of statements, Deshmukh was shown the list of 27 companies which are directly and indirectly controlled by his family members and was asked about his association with these companies. He was evasive in replies.”

The ED stated that their investigation has most clearly brought out the fact on record that Deshmukh’s companies are indulging in “irrational but interrelated transactions” and “money have been flown from and to each other companies”.

The ED added that “money has been also flown from personal accounts of Hrishikesh Deshmukh, Salil Deshmukh (sons of Anil Deshmukh) and other family members of Anil Deshmukh to these companies. Further, close associates are directors/shareholders have stated on record that these entities are controlled by Deshmukhs, the agency said.

ASG Anil Singh argued that Anil Deshmukh himself “had transacted with some of the companies” and is “not able to explain or give reason” for that clearly indicates intention behind his denial of the associations with the said companies.

“During the course of investigation, it is also revealed that there are certain transactions between Anil Deshmukh and his family members and from there (family members accounts), money has flown subsequently to various controlled companies of Deshmukhs,” the ED stated.

The seven page remand copy stated, “Fact of the matter is that these entities and individuals are cross linked having irrational interrelated transactions. In fact, the seeds of moneys of all these entities are Zodiac Dealcom (one of companies named by ED in the case) in which the money amounting to Rs 9.8 crore was laundered through 18 Kolkata based shell companies by way of raising Bogus Share Capital.”

However, ED stated that they put various questions about transaction between Anil Deshmukh with his family members to him. However he gave vague replies and thus this aspect needed further probe.

The ED said when it asked about his personal finance and accounts, Anil Deshmukh stated that Vinod Hasani, his CA, is looking after this. The ED has again summoned Hasani for confrontation with the fact arisen during custodial recording of statements of Anil Deshmukh.

Further ED had summoned Anil Deshmukh’s son Hrishikesh Deshmukh on 5 November for recording of his statement, however he did not appear and has done the same before as well. Other family members have also been summoned by ED.

Deshmukh was also asked about his association with his Sai Shikshan Sansthan Trust and he is said to have told the agency that though he is the chairman of the trust, he is not aware of any financial transaction of it.

On asking specifically about transferred entries received from Delhi-based Hawala companies in garb of donation, Deshmukh categorically stated that these are loans and CSR received from said companies.

Further on asking about related questions such as how they came in contact, how these Delhi-based companies knew that the trust needed loans from the said Delhi-based Hawala companies, Deshmukh again started evading the question and stated that he does not know said companies, the ED said.

The agency said that “due to holidays certain documents couldn’t be obtained and certain persons couldn’t be examined,” and that is why they needed Deshmukh’s custody further.

The agency’s remand copy stated that “Anil Deshmukh has emerged as the important cog in the wheels. It is therefore, imperative for the investigation to interrogate the accused in custody in order to draw a logical conclusion in this case.”

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