The Mumbai crime branch on Tuesday told a local court that the Enforcement Directorate, which has sought custody of dismissed police officer Sachin Waze to record his statement in a PMLA case involving former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh, is "sabotaging" the investigation by the police and that Waze is just a "puppet" in the hands of the Central agency.
After hearing the arguments of the ED and the crime branch, the court rejected the ED's plea.
Waze was remanded in the custody of the crime branch till November 13 in connection with an extortion case registered at suburban Goregaon in Mumbai.
The ED is probing a money laundering case based on the allegations levelled by former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh against the then Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh. Waze is accused in that case.
The ED recently arrested Deshmukh, who was remanded in the agency's custody till November 12.
In its plea, the ED said they have recorded Deshmukh's statement which needs to be confronted with Waze.
It is imperative to record the statement of Waze as early as possible under relevant provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on an urgent basis and make him confront the documents/evidence collected during the investigation, the ED told the court.
However, special public prosecutor Shekhar Jagtap, appearing for the crime branch, argued that no person or agency can interfere in the investigation being conducted by a probe agency.
The grounds mentioned in the ED's application don't show any urgency, he said.
"The application for two hours or two days doesn't stand legally.... legally speaking it's not maintainable in any form," he said.
"Our investigation is in progress. They (ED) are trying to sabotage our investigation...the so-called accused (Waze) is a puppet in their hands," Jagtap said.
The ED had launched the investigation against Deshmukh and his associates after the CBI filed an FIR against the NCP leader on April 21 on the charge of corruption and the misuse of his official position.
Deshmukh's private secretary Sanjeev Palande (an additional collector rank official) and his assistant Kundan Shinde were arrested by the ED.
The agency earlier submitted its prosecution complaint (equivalent to a charge sheet) against the duo before a special court.
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