The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed the first charge sheet in connection with the former Maharashtra Home Minister and senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Anil Deskhmukh's bribery case.
An ED official related to the probe told IANS, "A charge sheet has been filed in the case and Deshmukh's personal secretary Sanjeev Palande and personal assistant Kundan Shinde have been named in it."
According to ED officials, the 4,500-page charge sheet was filed before a Special PMLA court. The ED had arrested Palande and Shinde after carrying out searches against them and the NCP leader in Mumbai and Nagpur.
Deshmukh and his son Hrishikesh Deshmukh had skipped the ED's summons on several occasions. The ED registered a case of money laundering based on the FIR registered by the CBI.
Deshmukh has been accused of extortion from a bunch of Mumbai orchestra bars and of money laundering.
It has been alleged that Rs 4.7 crore was collected as "extortion" from the orchestra bars by the now-dismissed Mumbai police officer Sachin Waze allegedly on Deshmukh's instructions. Later, this amount was transferred to Deshmukh's Nagpur-based educational trust by his son, Hrishikesh.
According to the allegation, the transaction was routed via two hawala operators and was showed as a "donation". The 71-year-old NCP leader is the president of the trust and his two sons, Salil and Hrishikesh, are trustees.
On May 11, a case was registered against the former minister and on June 25, the ED raided Deshmukh's residences in Nagpur, Mumbai, and three other places.
In April, the CBI had conducted raids at four premises of Deshmukh after registering an FIR against him in connection with the case.
Param Bir Singh, former Commissioner of Mumbai Police, in his letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, had alleged that Deshmukh had indulged in "malpractices" and asked Waze to collect Rs 100 crore every month.