The Supreme Court, on Monday, refused to provide interim protection from arrest to former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh in the alleged money laundering case against him. The Supreme Court’s decision may also mean that Deshmukh could face arrest in connection with the ongoing probe against him.
A bench of justices AM Khanwilkar, Krishna Murari and V Ramasubramanian said that the top court is ‘not inclined to grant any interim relief’ to Deshmukh and added that he could access remedies under the CrPC. Deshmukh’s lawyer argued that the alleged money laundering case against the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader was a political ‘witch-hunt’.
Deshmukh had approached the top court seeking that the cases against him be dropped. Last week, the Bombay High Court had dismissed a PIL filed by Deshmukh, after which he approached the top court.
ED attaches properties worth Rs 4.20 crore
As reported earlier, the Enforcement Directorate has already attached Deshmukh and his family’s assets worth Rs 4.20 crore after a provisional attachment order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) was issued against the 70-year-old Maratha strongman.
Deshmukh was compelled to resign after former Mumbai Police commissioner Parambir Singh alleged that Deshmukh, the then home minister of the state, had asked Sachin Vaze – the former police officer and Shiv Sena leader whose name surfaced in the Mansukh Hiran death case as well as the Antilia bomb scare matter – and others to extort Rs 100 crore every month from bars and restaurants.
Subsequently, the CBI filed a case against Deshmukh after the Bombay High Court ordered a preliminary inquiry into the matter.