NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued a lookout notice against NCP leader and former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh in connection with a money laundering case.
Sources said that the lookout circular was issued to prevent Deshmukh from fleeing the country. He has skipped various summons issued by the ED in the case that forced him to resign from the post of Maharashtra Home Minister in April.
The move comes as the Supreme Court had refused to offer Deshmukh interim relief from coercive action in the lawsuit last month.
Deshmukh 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.
The ED has till now issued five summons to Deshmukh, asking him to appear before it for questioning. However, Deshmukh skipped every summons, saying he would be seeking appropriate remedy available under law.
ED registered its money laundering case against Deshmukh and others based on a corruption case filed against him by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Deshmukh is accused of allegedly misusing his post while serving as Home Minister. It is also alleged that the leader 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.
Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh had levelled the charge.
The CBI filed its FIR against Deshmukh on April 21 this year based on a Bombay High Court ruling on April 5.
However, Deshmukh has repeatedly denied any misconduct.
The ED had arrested Anil Deshmukh's personal secretary and personal assistant following raids in Mumbai and Nagpur on them and the NCP leader. His son-in-law was previously questioned by the CBI regarding the leak of an inquiry report.
It also summoned Regional Transport Office (RTO) officer Bajrang Kharmate, a close-aide of Maharashtra Minister Anil Parab in connection with a money laundering case.
According to a statement issued by ED, Kharmate has been asked to appear before the agency on Monday.
Earlier on August 29, ED had summoned Maharashtra Minister Anil Parab in connection with a money laundering case, following which Parab on August 31 sought 14 days time to appear before the agency.
The probe against Parab began days after a viral video clip surfaced in which the Minister can be seen ordering police officers to arrest Union Minister Narayan Rane without delay.
Following the issuance of ED's summon against Parab, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut said the judicial action was anticipated as Parab is the Guardian Minister of Ratnagiri where Rane was arrested.
Rane was arrested in Ratnagiri district, earlier on Tuesday, after FIRs were filed against him for making alleged controversial remarks against Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
However, the Union Minister was later granted bail by the Magistrate Court in Mahad in Raigad district. The court has ordered Rane to present at the Ratnagiri police station for inquiry on August 31 and September 13.