The ED entered the guilty plea in special court on Friday seeking an action against Deshmukh under section 174 of the IPC (absence in obedience to an order of a public servant). The section attracts a simple prison sentence for a period that can be extended to one month, or a fine of up to five hundred rupees, or both.
The investigating agency had issued multiple subpoenas to Deshmukh in the money laundering case it filed against him. However, the PNC leader has not appeared until now.
Two of Deshmukh’s aides, Sanjeev Palande and Kundan Shinde, were arrested in the case. They are currently in judicial custody.
In addition to the duo, the investigating agency in its recently filed charge sheet also named the fired Mumbai police officer Sachin Waze as the defendant. However, neither Deshmukh nor his family members have been charged on the charge sheet.
The DE launched an investigation against Deshmukh and his associates after the CBI filed an FIR against the NCP leader on April 21 after former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh accused him of corruption.
Singh had alleged that Deshmukh had asked Waze to collect 100 million rupees from bars and hotels in the city every month, a charge denied by the former minister.
Deshmukh resigned as minister in April this year.