MUMBAI: Former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh's then personal secretary (PS) Sanjeev Palande on Monday told a special court here through his lawyer that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had arrested him in the money laundering case without allowing him to respond to the notice issued to him.
Palande, an additional collector-rank officer, was arrested by the ED on June 26 in connection with the money laundering case involving Deshmukh.
Palande, who is currently in judicial custody, recently filed an application seeking bail.
Arguing for Palande, his advocate Shekhar Jagtap on Monday told the court that the former was taken into custody the same day his house was raided.
Jagtap argued the ED arrested Palande without even allowing him to respond to the notice issued to him.
He further said the ED had raided Palande's residence on the same day as Deshmukh's house and offices.
"Both Palande and Deshmukh were issued notices under section 41A of the Code of Criminal Procedure but Palande was not given a chance to respond to the notice and was arrested," Jagtap argued.
"The applicant (Palande) was picked up by the ED as if some incriminating material was found at his house," he said, adding that Palande was an honest bureaucrat and there is no evidence of a single penny coming to him.
Another accused arrested in the case, Kundan Shinde, who was working as Deshmukh's assistant (PA), had also filed an application seeking bail.
Shinde's advocate Ejaz Khan argued that his client was incriminated in the case only based on the statement given by dismissed Mumbai Police officer Sachin Waze.
Khan argued that Waze's statement cannot be relied upon as his bonafide are in question as he is an accused and behind bars in another case.
The court will continue hearing the bail pleas on September 29.
The ED had initiated a probe against Deshmukh and his associates after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed an FIR against the NCP leader on April 21 on charges of corruption and the misuse of the official position.
The federal anti-money laundering agency has so far arrested two persons in the case namely Sanjeev Palande and Kundan Shinde.
The agency had last month submitted its prosecution complaint (equivalent to a chargesheet) against the duo before a special court.
The CBI had lodged its FIR against Deshmukh after it conducted a preliminary enquiry against the NCP leader following an order from the High Court on April 5.
Deshmukh had resigned from the post of the home minister on April 5 but had denied any wrongdoing.