Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, who had been lodged in Mumbai’s Arthur Jail in an alleged case of corruption, collapsed in prison after his health deteriorated on Friday, news agency ANI reported. Central agencies including Enforcement Directorate and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) have registered cases against Deshmukh in corruption and money laundering cases.
According to Arthur Road Jail authorities, Deshmukh was rushed to JJ Hospital after he collapsed and complained of chest pain. “Deshmukh, lodged in the Arthur Road prison, felt dizzy and fainted,” a prison official told news agency PTI.
“His blood pressure was found to have increased and ECG report was abnormal,” the official said, adding that Deshmukh was undergoing treatment at the hospital now.
Deshmukh has been lodged in Arthur road jail since November 2021. The CBI has filed a chargesheet against Deshmukh and his two personal secretaries in connection with the Rs 100 crore extortion case.
Last month, sought a bail before the Bombay High Court citing suffering from various ailments, including lung and spinal disorders. Advocate Vikram Chaudhari appearing for Deshmukh said that his client’s deteriorating health is “taking a toll” on him.
Apart from the CBI investigation, even the Enforcement Directorate is aggressively looking into the money laundering aspect of the case.
As per ED, during his tenure as Maharashtra Home Minister in Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA government, Deshmukh has instructed Mumbai Police officials, including top cop Sachin Waze, to extort money from restaurants and bar owners in and around the city on a monthly basis.
The special court under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) had rejected 72-year-old leader’s bail plea in March this year.
The former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh had levelled the charges against Deshmukh in his March 30, 2021 letter to the then Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, sparking off a massive political row.
One of the accused linked with Deshmukh’s case, dismissed cop Sachin Vaze, arrested in connection with Mansukh Hiran murder case, has recently turned an approver for the CBI.
In June, CBI has shown Waze as an approver in its over 49-page charge-sheet filed in connection with the extortion case. Param Bir Singh had accused Deshmukh of forcing him to collect Rs 100 crore every month from bars and restaurants.
Singh levelled these allegations after he was removed from the police commissioner’s post. Deshmukh, however, had denied all allegations levelled against him.