INDIA. Mumbai: Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut and co-accused Pravin Raut were granted bail by the Special PMLA court in Mumbai in a Patra Chawl money laundering case filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday.
PMLA Special Judge M. H. Deshpande pronounced the verdict. Sanjay Raut moved for bail on September 7, claiming that ED’s case against him was filed to crush the opposition faced by the ruling party. He also contended that the amount of Rs. 1.06 crore shown as proceeds of the Patra Chawl deal was accounted for and explained.
The PMLA court on October 21 had reserved its order on the bail petition after hearing arguments from both sides.
Sanjay Raut was taken into custody by the ED on July 31 in connection with alleged irregularities in the redevelopment of a residential colony, Patra Chawl, located at Goregaon in North Mumbai. He and his associates and family members are linked to a Rs. 1,034 crore land “scam” related to the redevelopment of “Patra Chawl.”
Pravin Raut, a Sanjay Raut associate, was a director of Guru Ashish Construction Pvt Ltd (GACPL), which was tasked with redeveloping the Patra Chawl, which houses 672 tenants spread across 47 acres of land owned by 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), the 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’ interests.
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 (the wife of Sanjay) from Madhuri Pravin Raut (the wife of Pravin Raut).
Varsha Raut allegedly utilised the amount to buy a flat in Dadar. After the ED investigation began, she stated that she had transferred back Rs 55 lakh to Madhuri Raut.
Pravin Raut was arrested by the ED on February 2, 2022, under the PMLA. The HDIL director Sarang Wadhawan and his father Rakesh Wadhawan, earlier arrested by the ED in connection with around Rs 4,300 crore in fraud caused to the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) bank, were also booked in the Patra Chawl case.
The ED contended that Raut played a major role in the offence through his proxy and alleged aide, Pravin Raut.
After the rebellion within Sena brought down the Uddhav Thackeray-led coalition government on June 29, Sanjay Raut was the voice of the Uddhav Thackeray camp and was vocal against the Ekanth Shinde camp’s tie-up with the BJP.
Also Read: New Leads Claim Sanjay Raut’s Crucial Role Play in Patra Chawl Case