Former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh's son Hrishikesh Deshmukh was an active participant in money laundering and had assisted his father in projecting the ill-gotten money as an untainted donation, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) told a special court here on Monday.
The anti-money laundering agency submitted an affidavit before the court designated to hear the cases of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) opposing the pre-arrest bail plea filed by Hrishikesh Deshmukh.
The special court has posted the pre-arrest bail plea for hearing on December 4.
"The applicant (Hrishikesh Deshmukh) was an active participant in the laundering of proceeds of crime. The applicant assisted his father Anil Deshmukh to launder ill-gotten money into a complex web of companies," it said.
The agency said if Hrishikesh Deshmukh is granted protection from arrest then there is a likelihood of him tampering with evidence or attempting to obfuscate the trail of the proceeds of crime.
The ED said the preliminary probe has revealed that 11 companies were controlled by the former home minister and his family members.
"In the majority of these companies, the applicant (Hrishikesh Deshmukh) is either a director of the company or a shareholder in it," the affidavit said.
It added that Hrishikesh Deshmukh had connived with his father and transferred part of the Rs 4.70 crore bribe amount received from various bars and restaurants via dismissed police officer Sachin Waze through hawala to his associates.
That money was then transferred as donations by the associates to a trust run by the Deshmukh family.
"With the help of Delhi-based shell companies, the applicant (Hrishikesh Deshmukh) assisted his father Anil Deshmukh to launder the tainted money and projected it as untainted money by showing the same as donation," the ED said.
It added that Hrishikesh Deshmukh along with other family members created a complex web of companies in which suspicious transactions had taken place.
The ED told the court that Hrishikesh Deshmukh had not cooperated in the probe despite six summons sent to him.
In his anticipatory bail plea, Hrishikesh Deshmukh had stated that the "entire proceedings are actuated with malice".
He had claimed that the investigations against him and his father commenced in a shady manner.
The plea had said that there is a "witch-hunt campaign launched at the instance of certain vested inimical interests, some blatantly false allegations have been leveled by persons like dismissed cop Sachin Waze and former police commissioner Param Bir Singh, who have absolutely no credibility".
"These unscrupulous persons are themselves knee-deep involved in several rackets of extortion, fraud and even murder," the pre-arrest bail plea had said.
Anil Deshmukh was arrested in the case by the ED on November 1. He is presently in judicial custody.
The ED had initiated a probe against Deshmukh and his associates after the CBI filed an FIR against the senior NCP leader on April 21 on the charges of corruption and misuse of official positions.
The ED had also arrested two persons in the case Sanjeev Palande (additional collector rank official who was working as Deshmukh's private secretary) and Kundan Shinde (Deshmukh's assistant).
The agency had earlier submitted a prosecution complaint (equivalent to a charge sheet) against the duo before a special court.