File image of former Maharashtra mome minister Anil Deshmukh (Image: ANI)
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has initiated a lookout notice against former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh in connection with a money laundering case against him, reports said on September 5.
Deshmukh, who has so far skipped ED summons related to the case, had moved the Bombay High Court on September 2 seeking to quash the agency's summons. The plea, however, was not taken up for hearing immediately.
According to Times Now, the ED has now issued the lookout notice against Deshmukh, which would bar the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader from travelling outside the country.
The probe against Deshmukh and his associates was initiated by the ED after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had lodged an FIR against him on April 21 this year, on charges of corruption and misuse of official position.
The ED's case is that while serving as the state home minister, Deshmukh allegedly misused his position and through dismissed police officer Sachin Waze collected Rs 4.70 crore from various bars and restaurants in Mumbai.
The money was allegedly laundered to the Nagpur-based Shri Sai Shikshan Sansthan, an educational trust controlled by Deshmukh's family.
The ED has till now issued five summons to Deshmukh, asking him to appear before it for questioning.
However, Deshmukh skipped all the five summons, saying he would be seeking appropriate remedy available under law.
Deshmukh last month approached the Supreme Court against the summons and sought protection from arrest.
The apex court had, however, refused to grant any relief and said Deshmukh had alternate remedies. The NCP leader then approached the HC, challenging the summons.
The ED has so far arrested two persons - Sanjeev Palande (additional collector-rank official who was working as Deshmukh's private secretary) and Kundan Shinde (Deshmukh's personal assistant) - in the case.
Palande has also moved the high court, challenging the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) registered against him by the ED.
His plea will be taken up for hearing by a division bench of Justices S S Shinde and N J Jamadar in due course of time.
The ED last month submitted its prosecution complaint (equivalent to a charge sheet) against the duo before a special court in Mumbai.
The CBI had lodged the FIR against Deshmukh after it conducted a preliminary enquiry against him following an order from the HC on April 5.
Deshmukh resigned from the post of state home minister the same day, but has denied any wrongdoing.With PTI inputs