Mumbai | Jagran News Desk: Former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, who was arrested earlier this month in connection with the Rs 100 crore money laundering case, was sent to 14-day judicial custody on Saturday by a Mumbai court. However, his counsel has moved an anticipatory bail plea on behalf of his son Hrishikesh which the court will hear on November 12.

The senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on November 1 in connection with the Rs 100 crore extortion case based on the first information report (FIR) registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). On November 2, he was produced before a special PMLA court in Mumbai which had sent him to custody till Saturday.

During the last hearing, the central agency had said that Deshmukh's custody is needed to complete the investigation in the case, adding that the entire money trail requires to be established in order to bring the guilty to book. The ED also alleged that the former Maharashtra Home Minister is not cooperating with the investigation.

"Anil Deshmukh has emerged as an 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 the case. The involvement of foreign angle cannot be ruled out at this stage," it said, as reported by news agency PTI.

"The accused above named (Deshmukh) has played a very crucial role in the offence of money laundering. He has not provided the required information regarding the laundering of the proceeds of crime," it said, adding that his custody is required to "unearth the trail of funds".

The money laundering case against Deshmukh and others was made out after the CBI booked him in a corruption case related to allegations of at least Rs 100 crore bribery made by former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh. Besides, the ED had initiated a probe against Deshmukh and his associates after the CBI filed its FIR against the NCP leader on April 21 on charges of corruption and misuse of official position.

The ED's case is that Deshmukh, while serving as home minister, misused his official position and through dismissed cop Sachin Waze collected Rs 4.70 crore from various bars and restaurants in Mumbai. Besides Deshmukh, the ED has arrested his two aides - Kundan Shinde and Sanjeev Palande - in connection with the case. The duo are currently in judicial custody.

(With inputs from PTI)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma