Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], June 26 (ANI): The Special PMLA (Preventions of Money Laundering Act, 2002) court on Saturday sent former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh's aides Kundan Shinde and Sanjeev Palande to Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody till July 1.
The case revolves around the Transfer Posting' racket and collection from bar owners.
A Special PMLA Court was hearing the remand application of ED against Sanjeev Palande and Kundan Shinde.
ED's Lawyer Sunil Gonzalves said the case revolves around the transfer posting and collection from bar owners.
ED informed the court that various bar owners were called by the agency for a statement and they had categorically said that they paid Rs 40 lakh to Sachin Waze as Good luck Money in December 2020 when Waze was Crime Investigation Unit (CIU) head.
ED told the court that the bar owners paid Rs 1.64 crore and Rs 2.66 crore to Mumbai Police's Zone 1 to 7 and Zone 8 to 12.
"Sachin Waze told bar owners that money will go to so and so. Sachin Waze has also accepted that he has collected Rs 4.77 crore between December 2020 and February 2021 and handed over the money to Kundan Shinde. Two police officers statement were recorded and they said that Palande was also given money. Sachin Waze also verified this statement of police officers about Palande," ED's lawyer Gonzalves told the court.
ED further claimed Kundan Shinde is also a member of 'Sai Shikshan Sanstha', an NGO run by Anil Deshmukh's family.
"Kundan Shinde is an instrumental person for collecting money from Sachin Waze and passing it to Anil Deshmukh. Shinde was helping Anil Deshmukh in laundering the money. Also, Sanjeev Palande was instrumental in the Transfer Posting racket and used to collect money from police officers to be sent to Anil Deshmukh. The accused are not cooperating. They were called for a statement but did not cooperate. A 7 -day custody what we demand," ED told the court.
During the hearing, Advocate J Shekhar appearing for Sanjeev Palande called ED "a Housed sparrow which only tweets and does nothing". To this ED's lawyer, Gonzalves took serious offence and warned the defence lawyer to not indulge in personal comments. After an objection, the defence lawyer apologised for his comments and the Judge also wanted him not to indulge in name-calling.
Palande's lawyer argued that ED's claims in case background is "an absolute cocks and bulls story".
Advocate Shekhar told the court that Palande was the personal secretary to the minister appointed by the Government of Maharashtra. Palande was deputed by the General Administration Department there and he had a very limited role in the Home Minister's office. He had never directly or indirectly communicated to Sachin Waze in his whole tenure as PS to Anil Deshmukh.
Advocate Shekhar has claimed that the Prosecution has been levelling allegations against Palande conveniently and hiding Parambir Singh, who was holding a key position in the whole case.
"ED is an elite organization but they acted like local police. They raided Palande's residence yesterday and gave him notice of Section 50 of PMLA and then took him along with them. What is this?" Palande's lawyer told the court.
Kundan Shinde's lawyer Advocate Mehul Thakkar said, "Non-cooperation alone cannot be a ground for remand in this case. The reason for the arrest is also not fulfilled in the process adopted by ED. Being a trustee and being a member of an NGO are two different things. Shinde being a member of the trust only cannot be the basis of holding Shinde guilty."
Countering this, ED said they have given all reasons for his arrest as per Section 19 of PMLA.
"There is nothing to show on record that Sachin Waze was in direct contact with Kundan Shinde except Waze's own statement that cannot be relied on. There is no mention what was the role of Kundan Shinde?" argued Advocate Mehul Thakkar.
Earlier on Saturday, Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh's personal assistant Kundan Shinde and personal secretary Sanjeev Palande, in connection with an alleged money laundering case registered against Deshmukh.
On Friday, the ED had raided Deshmukh's residences in Nagpur and Mumbai. Raids were conducted at five places. After the raids, Deshmukh had said that former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh had made false allegations against him after he was removed from the post over his suspicious role.
The case against the former Home Minister was registered on May 11.
Earlier in April, the CBI had conducted raids at four premises of Deshmukh after registering an FIR against him in connection with the case.
An FIR was filed based on Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act (Public servant taking gratification other than legal remuneration in respect of an official act) and criminal conspiracy (IPC 120 B).
During the searches, the CBI recovered incriminating documents and digital devices, sources confirmed.
Param Bir Singh, in his letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, had alleged that Deshmukh had indulged in "malpractices" and asked suspended Mumbai Police officer Sachin Waze to collect Rs 100 crores every month.
Waze was arrested in March in connection with the National Investigation Agency's (NIA) probe into the case of recovery of an explosives-laden SUV near Mukesh Ambani's house in Mumbai and the subsequent murder of Thane businessman Mansukh Hiran. (ANI)