The Single Judge Bench of Justice Revati Mohite – Dere was approached on the 2nd September 2021 by Mr. Anil Deshmukh seeking to Quash the summons issued to him by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). Along with the application, Mr. Deshmukh had made a few more requests :
- Permission to submit documents to the ED through electronic mode;
- Permission to allow an ‘authorised agent’ to represent him before the ED;
- To form an SIT comprising of ED Officers from outside Mumbai and the investigation should be entrusted to the SIT;
- To monitor the probe as per the ration laid down by the Apex Court in an earlier case of Babubhai Jamnadas Patel.
The ED had issued five (5) summons to Mr. Anil Deshmukh directing him to appear before the agency with respect to the Money Laundering case filed against him. Mr. Deshmukh, however, did not comply with a single summons and did not present himself for any questioning. Instead, Mr. Deshmukh moved the Supreme Court requesting for Fair and Reasonable investigation. On the 16th August 2021, the Apex Court disposed off the petition without granting any interim relief to Deshmukh.
The CBI had filed an FIR against Mr. Anil Deshmukh, amongst others, invoking the Prevention of Corruption Act following which the ED started a probe by filing a case against them under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
During the investigation, the ED found that an amount of more than 4 Crore 70 Lakhs had been received by Mr. Anil Deshmukh while he was in office as the Home Minister of Maharashtra. Deshmukh and his family diverted approximately 4.18 crores of that amount to an education trust called as Shri Sai Shikshan Sanstha which was formed by Mr. Deshmukh himself. This money was collected by now dismissed Assistant Police Inspector Mr. Sachin Waze from various restaurants and bars under the instructions of Deshmukh. The former Commissioner of Police Mr. Param Bir Singh had stated that Deshmukh had instructed them to collect a minimum of Rs. 100 Crore per month from such establishments and sources.
Upon presenting the matter before Justice Revati Mohite- Dere seeking the quashing of the summons, Justice Mohite – Dere recused herself from hearing the matter with reason untold and instructed them to approach an alternate Bench.
On the morning of the 2nd September, The CBI had arrested Mr. Anand Daga, the lawyer of Mr. Anil Deshmukh on allegations of trying to subvert the preliminary enquiry to be conducted as directed by the Bombay High Court. He was taken to Delhi on transit remand and shall be presented before the appropriate authority.