Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut remanded in judicial custody, sent to Arthur Road jail
ED has alleged that Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut made huge cash payments to purchase 10 plots in Kihim village in Alibag, bought jointly in the names of his wife Varsha and Swapna Patkar, wife of his close associate Sujit
MUMBAI: Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut was sent to central Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail on Monday after the special PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) court remanded him in judicial custody till August 22.
The enforcement directorate (ED) arrested Raut late in the night on July 31 in connection with the money laundering case involving the Patra Chawl redevelopment project in Goregaon. He was initially remanded in ED custody for three days and later on August 4, his ED custody was extended to August 8.
On Monday, the special court remanded Raut in judicial custody after the agency produced him before the judge but did not seek his custody.
ED has alleged that the Sena spokesperson made huge cash payments to purchase 10 plots in Kihim village in Alibag, bought jointly in the names of his wife Varsha and Swapna Patkar. Swapna is the wife of Raut’s close associate Sujit, and her statement to the ED allegedly refers to cash payments to buy these plots in Alibag. On Saturday, ED officials also questioned Varsha for nearly 10 hours.
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Raut has termed the ED’s actions against him as a “political witch-hunt” by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Centre.
The money laundering case is based on a first information report (FIR) registered by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai police in March 2018 against real estate company Housing Development and Infrastructure Limited (HDIL) promoters Rakesh Wadhawan and his son Sarang, Guruashish Construction Pvt Ltd — a subsidiary of HDIL that undertook the redevelopment of Patra Chawl in Goregaon — and its director Pravin Raut, among others.
Guruashish Construction took up the project to redevelop Siddharth Nagar, popularly known as Patra Chawl, which was originally a barrack constructed by the British during the Second World War. The project involved the redevelopment of 47 acres in the heart of Goregaon in north Mumbai and the rehabilitation of the 672 tenants who lived in the 265-square-feet tenements in 16 old buildings.
ED alleged that Guruashish Construction sold the entire floor space index of the free sale component of the project to nine builders and collected ₹901.79 crore from them without constructing the rehab buildings and the MHADA portion. The developer also mobilised an additional amount of ₹138 crore from 458 flat buyers by launching a project at the site – thus taking the total proceeds of crime to ₹1,039.79 crore.
In 2011, around ₹112 crore was transferred from HDIL to the bank account of Pravin Raut, who in turn diverted parts of these funds to various accounts of his close associates, including Sanjay Raut and his wife Varsha.
The agency has claimed that ₹1.06 crore was moved from Pravin Raut to the bank accounts of the Shiv Sena leader and his wife. Besides, ED is also investigating ₹1.17 crore deposited in Varsha Raut’s bank accounts.
HDIL promoter Rakesh Wadhawan, his son Sarang and Pravin Raut are already in jail in connection with this case.