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No Fear No Favour

CBI takes custody of Maharashtra’s ex-minister Anil Deshmukh in corruption case.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday took former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh into its custody from Mumbai’s Arthur Road Jail, where he was lodged, in connection with the recovery of Rs 100 crore in Maharashtra. The central agency had registered a case of extortion against him. Soon he will be produced in the CBI court. The central agency had told a special CBI court on Tuesday that Deshmukh was trying to evade CBI’s inquiry in the Rs 400 crore money laundering case and was therefore citing health reasons. The CBI has detained former Mumbai police officer Sachin Wajhe and two close aides of Deshmukh, Kundan Shinde and Sanjeev Palande.

All three have been taken into custody to conduct further probe into the alleged corruption and extortion case against Deshmukh. These three accused were in judicial custody of the special PMLA court in connection with the money laundering case against Deshmukh. The CBI took the three into custody on Monday after getting approval from the Special PMLA Court and the Special CBI Court. The CBI was also given permission to take Deshmukh into custody, but as Deshmukh was in hospital, the investigating agency could not take him into custody despite court orders. On Monday, the CBI produced Sachin Wajhe and the other two in the special CBI court after taking them into custody. The CBI sought ten days’ custody of the three men and also wanted to take Sachin Wajhe, Sanjeev Palande and Kundan Shinde to Delhi for investigation, but a special CBI court in Mumbai asked the CBI to take the three into custody till April 11 and investigate permitted to.

While arguing his case in the special CBI court in Mumbai itself, the investigating agency argued through its lawyer. The former home minister is trying to evade CBI inquiry and that is why he is citing health reasons and is hospitalised. The CBI counsel also told the court that they are probing the corruption case, which prima facie involved corruption of more than 400 crores. The CBI said that there are many startling details of the case which cannot be discussed in open court. Arguing on their demand to take all the accused to Delhi for further investigation, the CBI counsel said that there is a need for confrontation between all these accused and with other witnesses in the case, hence the need to take them to Delhi. The court, while rejecting the demand of CBI, directed to interrogate these three accused in Mumbai itself.

By line: Divya Thearia

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