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Vazegate: Anil Deshmukh Blames 'vested Interests' For ED Probe; Petition In SC Accessed

In a key development, ex-Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh approached the Supreme Court seeking to quash the Enforcement Directorate case against him. 

Anil Deshmukh, Supreme Court

Image: PTI/ANI

On Monday, Republic TV accessed details of ex-Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh's petition in the Supreme Court seeking to quash the ED case. In his plea, the NCP leader has urged the court to hold the investigation against him null and void. Asserting that the proceedings against him are "malafide", Deshmukh stated that he is a mass leader in Maharashtra with huge experience in the state legislature.

His petition read, "In the course of his political career and rise, he has indeed become an eyesore for several vested interests for malafide and extraneous considerations. The series of events that have led to the impugned investigations by Respondent no.2 (ED) are a result of such malafide vested interests. Petitioner is sanguine to expose the falsity, hollowness and the lack of substance in the accusations leveled against him. Petitioner No.2 (Deshmukh) is a septuagenarian who is presently aged more than 71 years and is suffering from various age-related ailments included hypertension and cardiac problems." 

Earlier on June 25, the ED raided Deshmukh's residences in Nagpur and Mumbai and had a long interaction with him spanning over several hours. Already, it has provisionally attached immovable assets worth Rs.4.2 crore belonging to the former Maharashtra Home Minister and his family members under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. This included one residential flat at Worli worth Rs.1.54 crore and 25 land parcels located at Dhutum village in Raigad. 

Here are the excerpts of the petition: 

Charges against Anil Deshmukh

The controversy came to the fore on February 20 when ex-Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh levelled serious 'extortion' charges against Anil Deshmukh. In a letter addressed to Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray, Singh refuted Deshmukh's remarks that his transfer was due to serious lapses in the Antilia bomb scare case. Moreover, he alleged that the NCP leader had asked Sachin Vaze to extort Rs.100 crore per month from 1750 bars, restaurants and other establishments in Mumbai.

On April 21, the CBI registered an FIR against the NCP leader and unknown individuals under Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act and Section 120 B of the Indian Penal Code. According to the FIR, the former Maharashtra Home Minister was aware that dismissed Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze was entrusted with most of the sensational and important cases of Mumbai. It also accused him and others of exercising undue influence over the transfer and posting of officials and thereby exercising undue influence over the performance of official duties by the officials.

Subsequently, the ED filed an ECIR against Anil Deshmukh on May 11 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act for allegedly obtaining illegal gratification which was based on the corruption case registered by the CBI. On June 26, it arrested the NCP leader's personal secretary Sanjeev Palande and personal assistant Kundan Shinde who have been remanded to custody. For three times in a row, Deshmukh has refused to appear before the ED pending the disposal of his plea in the apex court seeking protection against 'coercive action'.

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