The former minister moved the High Court after a Special Court under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) rejected his default bail application, after which Deshmukh sought regular bail that was also rejected.
Deshmukh had stated in his plea that he is a victim of gross persecution and harassment being meted out to him at the hands of certain unscrupulous vested interests.
In the 56-page reply filed through Advocate Shreeram Shirsat, the ED has opposed the bail filed pointing out that the allegations by Deshmukh would be examined at the trial stage.
“The question of conducting mini-trial at the stage of bail cannot and would not arise,” the reply said.
The reply stated that during the course of investigation under the PMLA, it was revealed that Deshmukh is a conspirator and the brain behind the whole conspiracy to commit certain offences such as collecting illegal money from the orchestra bar owners, and with respect to illegalities in transfer and postings of police officers.
“During ED custody also the application was unable to explain the source of huge wealth and to explain the proceeds of crime amounting to ₹1.71 crores received during the month of February – March 2021 in the bank account of Shri Sai Shikshan Sanstha from the companies of Jain brothers,” the ED contended.
The ED added that none of the witnesses had retracted their statements given on oath to the ED during interrogations, which also implied that there was no force or coercion used against them.
Despite multiple opportunities, Deshmukh had failed to explain the source of the monies, the ED reply emphasised, thus lending credence and showing even otherwise that the proceeds of crimes were being laundered.
Laundering of such tainted monies is a continuing offence, which is spread out over a considerable period of time, the reply stated.
In view of this, the ED sought for rejection of bail on the following grounds:
Deshmukh was non-co-operative, evasive and did not attend the interrogation when summoned five times, instead choosing to challenge the same in courts;
He has amassed huge wealth during public service, source of which is still unexplained; and
He is an influential person having deep political roots and there is every likelihood of him obfuscating the trail of proceeds of crime.