The Mumbai Police on Thursday arrested designer Aniksha over an alleged attempt to bribe Amruta Fadnavis, wife of Maharashtra deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. The police are still on the lookout for the second accused, Anil Jaisinghani, who is the father of the designer and a wanted bookie, reports said.
Amruta Fadnavis had lodged a complaint at the Malabar Hill police station against the designer for offering her Rs 1 crore in bribes to get her father off the hook. She alleged she was being blackmailed and threatened by the designer. Subsequently, a first information report (FIR) was registered.
The incident kicked off a political row with opposition members questioning the state of Maharashtra where a deputy CM's wife was being “threatened”.
Speaking in the state Assembly in response to Leader of Opposition Ajit Pawar who sought to know the details of the case reported in the media, Devendra Fadnavis said that the designer, against whom the complaint has been filed, hinted about her political connections and how she could get him into trouble if the cases against her absconding father were not withdrawn.
Describing her as a “well-educated girl”, Fadnavis said the designer was in touch with his wife for nearly one and a half years and was a frequent visitor to their home. She first came in contact with Amruta in 2015-16 and won her trust and confidence. Meanwhile, Anil Jaisinghani faces 14 to 15 cases and is absconding, he said.
“In 2021, she resumed contact with Amruta and even asked her to wear the clothes designed by her. She spoke about her father claiming that he was implicated in false cases and asked for help. My wife said she should give a memorandum which would be forwarded to me,” Fadnavis told the House.
“After the change of government, the designer spoke about her contacts with bookies. She claimed that she would share information and after the authorities conducted raids, she would get money from both parties,” he said, adding that she dropped names of police officials and politicians to boast of her contacts.
Fadnavis also alleged that the woman blackmailed them with some audio and video recordings from unknown numbers, adding that a forensic audit found them to be false.
One of the video clips, he said, shows the designer handing over a “bag full of money” to the house help in the Fadnavis residence but the forensic audit proved that the bag with money in one frame and the bag handed over to the house help in the other are different.
The deputy CM said the case will be investigated.