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Sharad Pawar Defends Anil Deshmukh Again As Court Declares Param Bir 'proclaimed Offender'

After Param Bir Singh was declared 'proclaimed offender' by a court, Sharad Pawar asserted that this was a vindication of NCP's stance on Anil Deshmukh.

Image: PTI/ANI

After Param Bir Singh was declared 'proclaimed offender' by a court on Wednesday, Sharad Pawar asserted that this was a vindication of NCP's stance on Anil Deshmukh. Addressing a gathering in Nagpur, he reiterated that the former Maharashtra Home Minister was framed at the behest of BJP. Lashing out at Param Bir Singh for not cooperating with the authorities, Pawar lamented that Deshmukh was still in jail despite the former's failure to corroborate his 'extortion' allegations. On this occasion, the NCP supremo predicted that the saffron party will have to pay a price for allegedly falsely implicating Deshmukh. 

NCP chief Sharad Pawar remarked, "Most probably today the state government must have proclaimed this officer as an absconder. We don't know which country he fled to. We don't know where he stays. He doesn't appear even when the summons are issued. And when he was asked by (Chandiwal) commission regarding his allegations, he communicated in writing that I don't wish to say anything. If you are saying this today, this implies that your allegations are false. That's why I don't know whether you are in the country or abroad. An officer who is not ready to face the law is free whereas Anil Deshmukh is behind the bars." 

Param Bir Singh's allegations against Anil Deshmukh

The trouble for Anil Deshmukh started on February 20 when Param Bir Singh levelled 'extortion' charges against him. In a letter addressed to Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray, Singh 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. After the HC directed the CBI to carry out a preliminary enquiry into these allegations, Deshmukh resigned as the Home Minister was replaced by Dilip Walse Patil.

Moreover, the ED filed an ECIR against him 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. After skipping its summons on 5 occasions, he finally appeared before the ED at its Mumbai office on November 1 and was taken into custody in the wee hours of the next day. On Monday, a special PMLA court in Mumbai remanded the NCP leader to judicial custody for 14 days. 

Court nod for 'Proclaimed offender' status

A day earlier, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate S. B. Bhajipale declared the ex-Mumbai Police Commissioner, Vinay Singh and Riyaz Bhati as proclaimed offenders in connection with an extortion case. Basically, builder-cum-hotelier Bimal Agrawal had alleged that the accused persons including Sachin Vaze extorted Rs. 9 lakh from him for not conducting a raid on two bars and restaurants and forced him to buy two smartphones worth around Rs.2.92 lakh for them. The Goregaon Police Station registered an FIR under Sections 34, 120B, 201, 384, 385, 388 and 389 of the Indian Penal Code.

The police will now paste a notice on their addresses directing them to appear before it within a period of 30 days. If they still skip the summons, it will initiate the process for the attachment of their properties. Recently, Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil had himself hinted at the possibility of Param Bir Singh fleeing India. 

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