Clubs were asked to submit all documents related to Deshmukh membership along with receipts for payment of membership fees and unpaid dues paid in 2019, 2020 and 2021.
The notices were served on the clubs around mid-April – less than a fortnight after Deshmukh, a leader of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) led by Sharad Pawar, was arrested by CBI. “How did he become a member of the clubs? Who introduced him to the clubs? Who paid their dues? Was the money paid in cash? clubs oblige. They are looking for links. This could help CBI expand the scope of the investigation (linked to extortion allegations) and claim that as Minister Deshmukh he abused his office,” a source said.
According to notices issued under Article 91 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the agency also requested any documents related to Deshmukh that the clubs may be in possession of. (Section 91, among others, deals with the authority of the officer in charge to request documents necessary for an investigation).
Deshmukh was arrested earlier this month in a bribery and criminal association case. CBI is also investigating Deshmukh for abusing his position as Home Minister of Maharashtra for allegedly awarding favorable posts to police officers for huge consideration paid to him via intermediaries.
PIL by former Chief of Police
The CBI also arrested Deshmukh’s personal assistant Kundan Shinde, personal secretary Sanjeev Palande and dismissed police officer Sachin Waze in connection with the case. Custody was sought to confront Deshmukh with the accused arrested on allegations of collecting money from bar and restaurant owners.
The agency’s investigation is based on allegations made by former Mumbai Police Chief Param Bir Singh in his PIL filed in the Bombay High Court. In his eight-page letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Singh alleged that Deshmukh ordered Waze to collect ₹100 crore every month, including ₹40-50 crore from some 1,750 bars and restaurants in Mumbai . The letter was part of the PIL filed by Singh.
Deshmukh is being questioned by several agencies, including the Directorate of Law Enforcement (ED) and the Department of Income Tax. Deshmukh was first arrested on November 2 by the ED. On December 29, the federal anti-money laundering agency filed an additional indictment in said case against Deshmukh, calling him a “primary mover” in the case. The indictment says Deshmukh demanded “good luck” money from the band bars and restaurants for their “proper operation”.
The investigation by the two agencies revealed that at least 13 companies, allegedly directly controlled by members of Deshmukh’s family, and at least 14, controlled by the family through close associates, were used to purported money management purposes. The ED attached assets worth ₹4.20 crore.
In ED’s second supplementary bill filed in February, reviewed by ET, the agency claimed that over ₹13 crore is believed to have been laundered by Deshmukh and his family members since 2011 – including 2.83 crore ₹ were laundered during his tenure of house. Maharashtra minister.
The indictment further states that the companies were allegedly launched by Deshmukh for accumulating unaccounted funds through interconnected transactions without any rational or underlying activity. “The Deshmukh family has worked as a monolith and all businesses are disconnected and intertwined and deeply involved in each other’s affairs,” the charge sheet adds.
In his statement to the ED, Singh reiterated the extortion allegations and also alleged that members of the Police Establishment Board (PEB) responsible for making recommendations for the assignment of all senior officers in the ‘State, were just a mere ‘rubber stamp’. and the name list was prepared in Deshmukh’s office.