Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh for questioning on Saturday in a money laundering case related to an alleged multi-crore bribery-cum-extortion racket that led to his resignation in April, officials said.
The 71-year-old Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader has been asked to depose before the investigating officer of the case at the agency office in the Ballard Estate area here by 11 am, they said.
The central agency had Friday night arrested his personal secretary Sanjeev Palande and personal assistant Kundan Shinde after it carried out raids against them and Deshmukh in Mumbai and Nagpur.
The aides were brought to the ED office for questioning following the searches and arrested subsequently.
They will be produced before a special court for cases under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in Mumbai on Saturday where the ED will seek their remand for custodial interrogation, officials said.
The ED case against Deshmukh and others was made out after the CBI first carried out a preliminary inquiry followed by a regular case being filed on the orders of the Bombay High Court.
The court had asked the agency to look into the allegations of bribery made against Deshmukh by former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh.
Deshmukh, who had resigned from his post in April following the allegations, has denied any wrongdoing.
Police officer Singh was shunted out from his post after the role of assistant police inspector Sachin Waze, who has since been dismissed from service, surfaced during the investigation into an explosive-laden SUV that was found parked near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's house in Mumbai.
In his letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray after he was removed from the police commissioner's post, Singh had alleged that Deshmukh had asked Waze to extort over Rs 100 crore a month from bars and restaurants in Mumbai.
Deshmukh was the home minister in the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra headed by Thackeray.
In the letter, Singh also alleged that Palande was present when Deshmukh had asked Waze to extort money.
Palande and Shinde had been questioned by the CBI in the past.
The role of the two in the operation of certain shell firms is being looked into by the ED.
The CBI booked Deshmukh and others under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections related to criminal conspiracy and the section of the Prevention of Corruption Act for "attempt to obtain undue advantage for improper and dishonest performance of public duty"....