The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is understood to have issued a ‘lookout’ circular against former Maharashtra Home Minister and senior Nationalist Congress Party leader Anil Deshmukh, officials said.
The notice is issued in connection with the alleged Rs 100-crore corruption and laundering case lodged against him. 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 ₹4.70 crores 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.
The ‘lookout’ circular will effectively prevent Deshmukh from fleeing the country since he has skipped at least five ED summons to join the probe.
Officials also say that it’s only a matter of time before Deshmukh faces arrest in the cases filed against him following the complaint lodged by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh.
Mr. Singh had made the allegation following his removal from the post in the aftermath of an explosives-laden SUV being found near industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s Mumbai residence. He wrote to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray saying the then state Home Minister had asked suspended cop Sachin Waze to extort over ₹ 100 crores a month from bars and restaurants in the city.
The Supreme Court has declined any interim protection to Deshmukh from coercive action by the ED or CBI.
Last week, Deshmukh ~ who quit from the Uddhav Thackeray cabinet in April~ moved the Bombay High Court, where the matter is pending hearing.
The central agencies are tightening the noose on Deshmukh, with the arrest of his lawyer and an aide last week in connection with the leak of a CBI’s purported preliminary inquiry report which sought to give him a clean-chit, and both agencies have raided him in Mumbai and Nagpur.