Former Maharashtra Home Minister and senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Anil Deshmukh on Wednesday once again skipped the Enforcement Directorate's (ED) summon and instead submitted an application to the agency seeking exemption from appearance in connection with a money laundering case.
In a three-page letter to the ED sent through his lawyer Inderpal Singh, Deshmukh said, "At the outset, I may submit that you have chosen to issue summons immediately after the hearing of my writ petition before the Supreme Court without even awaiting the text of the order to be uploaded on the website of the court and without reading the contents thereof."
With respect to the ED case, he said, "I have since approached the Supreme Court seeking various reliefs, including laying challenge to the validity of various provisions of the PMLA as well as for quashing of the ED case in question. I also sought protection of my personal liberty. The said writ petition had come up for hearing before the Supreme Court on August 16."
On Monday, the Supreme Court had refused to grant Deshmukh interim protection from arrest in the money laundering probe, saying that he can avail remedy under CrPC and other appropriate forum for relief.
Deshmukh in his letter said that from the above, it is abundantly clear that the Supreme Court has made it open for him to take recourse to all appropriate remedies available under CrPC, including the filing of a quashing petition.
The ED had issued fresh summons to Deshmukh on Tuesday. The development came a day after the Supreme Court refused interim protection to the 71-year-old NCP leader from any coercive action by the federal agency.
Deshmukh has been accused of money-laundering, and the matter is being probed by the ED for the alleged extortion from a bunch of orchestra bars in Mumbai.
It has been alleged that Rs 4.7 crore was collected as "extortion" from the orchestra bars by now dismissed Mumbai police officer Sachin Waze, allegedly on Deshmukh's instructions.
Later, this amount was transferred to Deshmukh's Nagpur-based educational trust by his son, Hrishikesh.
According to the allegation, the transaction was routed via two hawala operators and was shown as a "donation".
The NCP leader is the president of the trust and his two sons, Salil and Hrishikesh, are its trustees.
On May 11, a case was registered against the former minister and on June 25, the ED had raided Deshmukh's residences in Nagpur, Mumbai and three other locations.
In April, the CBI had conducted raids at four premises of Deshmukh after registering an FIR against him in connection with the case.
Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, in his letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, had alleged that Deshmukh had indulged in "malpractices" and had asked Waze to collect Rs 100 crore extortion money every month.