INDIA. Mumbai: The Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut was arrested by Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a Patra Chawl scam on Sunday midnight under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) and he will be produced in court on Monday.
Sena spurred into action since Sunday with protests against the raid and subsequent arrest of leader Sanjay Raut by the ED in the Patra land scam case. Former CM Uddhav Thackeray will hold a meeting with party leaders at his residence Matoshree at 1 PM, sources said.
The Shiv Sena leader was taken into ED custody and was shown as arrested under the PMLA on Sunday at midnight. The ED officers, who reached his Maitree Bungalow at Bhandup in North East Mumbai, accompanied by CRPF and local police, early Sunday morning, searched all three floors and collected some documents, and seized the cash of Rs 11.50 lakh.
Shiv Sena members assembled in large numbers outside the Maitree Bungalow during the raid, sat on a dharna, and chanted “We won’t let the ED capture Raut!” as they raised their voices. The police eventually gathered up a few of the workers.
Shortly after ED began searching his residence, the Shive Sena leader tweeted that he would die but will never leave Shiv Sena.
While Raut was being taken away to the ED office at Ballard Pier in South Mumbai, his family members, including his wife Varsha, his mother Savita, and daughter Vidhita got emotional and were seen sobbing. Mother Savita performed aarti of Sanjay, while he hugged her before departing.
Sanjay’s brother MLA Sunil Raut said that out of Rs 11.50 lakh seized, Rs 10 lakh belonged to Chief Minister Eknath Shinde. “The arrest of my brother Sanjay has been made only to suppress his voice. Whatever money (Rs 10 lakh) was received was for the visit of Shiv Sainiks to Ram Temple in Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh).
On the parcel containing money, it has been written that “Eknath Shinde Ayodhya Yatra”.
“With the help of fake documents, efforts are being made to link my brother with the Patra Chawl scam,” he said.
At the same time, senior ED officers also reached Mumbai from Delhi late Sunday night.
Sanjay Raut appeared before ED on July 1. Thereafter ED sent two summons to him but he did not attend the ED office citing his engagement with the ongoing Parliament session.
Outside the ED office on Sunday evening Sanjay Raut had told the media that ED was wanting to arrest him and he was ready for that. He denied wrongdoings and alleged that he was being harassed due to political vendetta.
Patra chawl scam
The money-laundering case against Sanjay Raut and his associates and family members is linked to an Rs. 1,034 crore land ‘scam’ related to the redevelopment of “Patra Chawl’ at Goregaon in North Mumbai.
Pravin Raut, an associate of Sanjay Raut, was a director of Guru Ashish Construction Pvt Ltd (GACPL), entrusted with the work of the redevelopment of the Patra Chawl, housing 672 tenants, spread over 47-acre land, belonging to the Maharashtra Housing Area Development Authority (MHADA). GACPL is a subsidiary company of Housing Development Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL).
GACPL never completed the redevelopment and Pravin Raut through the HDIL directors- Rakesh Kumar Wadhawan and Sarang Wadhawan, sold the floor space index (FSI) ( maximum permissible floor area that a builder can build on a particular plot of land), to various builders for Rs 1,034 crore, harming the tenants’ interest, the ED’s statement said.
Pravin Raut, who received the money from HDIL, transferred it to his relatives and close associates. Out of this, the proceeds amounting to Rs 83 lakh, were allegedly received by Varsha Raut (wife of Sanjay Raut) from Madhuri Pravin Raut,( the wife of Pravin Raut). Varsha Raut utilized this amount to buy a flat in Dadar. After the ED investigation began, she transferred back Rs 55 lakh to Madhuri Raut.
Pravin Raut was arrested by the ED on February 2, under the PMLA and he continues to be in jail.
The HDIL director Sarang Wadhawan and his father Rakesh Wadhawan earlier arrested by ED in connection with around Rs 4,300 crore fraud caused to Punjab & Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) bank are at present in judicial custody at Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail.
Earlier, Raut said that the Alibaug land was purchased in 2009 for which a loan of Rs.55 lakh was taken from Pravin Raut’s wife. This was also reflected in his election affidavit. “The loan was subsequently repaid,” he had said.