When Deshmukh’s lawyer submitted that the politician be granted protection from coercive action, a bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar said it would hear the plea next week along with other connected matters and would consider this aspect.
The top court was hearing a batch of pleas, including those challenging the constitutional validity of certain provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The summons to 71-year-old NCP leader by ED was issued in connection with the criminal case registered under the PMLA related to an alleged Rs 100 crore bribery-cum-extortion racket that led to Deshmukh's resignation in April this year. The ED case against Deshmukh and others was made out after the CBI had lodged a corruption case related to allegations of at least Rs 100 crore bribery made by former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh.
In his letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray after he was removed from the police commissioner's post, Singh had alleged that Deshmukh had asked suspended Mumbai Police assistant police inspector (API) Sachin Waze to extort over Rs 100 crore a month from bars and restaurants in Mumbai.
Deshmukh had to resign from his post in April following the allegations and he has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. The ED had arrested Deshmukh's personal secretary Sanjeev Palande and personal assistant Kundan Shinde after it carried out raids against them and the NCP leader in Mumbai and Nagpur.