After Sanjay Raut's no-show, ED raids his house
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Sunday searched Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut's home for his suspected involvement in the Patra Chawl land scam case, according to ANI. The move followed repeated summons filed by the investigation agency against Raut, the most recent on July 27. The ED summoned Raut for interrogation in a money laundering case involving alleged irregularities.
- The ED issued multiple summonses against Raut after the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government had gone through a major crisis in Maharashtra with many of its MLAs turning into rebels being led by Eknath Shinde.
- The ED crackdown on Raut, who is considered the Sena's troubleshooter, is being seen by many as a political vendetta and conspiracy by the BJP at the Centre.
ED summoned Raut in the money laundering case to interrogate him in connection with suspected irregularities in the redevelopment of a Mumbai 'chawl' and related transactions. Notably, Raut's wife and 'associates' are also reportedly implicated in the case. Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena MP, has denied any wrongdoing and claims that he is being pursued because of a political vendetta.
"I have nothing to do with any scam. I am saying this by taking the oath of Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray. Balasaheb taught us to fight and I will continue to fight for Shiv Sena," Raut tweeted after the searches. To recall, he was questioned in the matter previously also and spent around 10 hours with the investigating officer in July 1.
कोणत्याही घोटाळ्याशी माझा काडीमात्र संबंध नाही.— Sanjay Raut (@rautsanjay61) July 31, 2022
शिवसेना प्रमुख बाळासाहेब ठाकरे यांची शपथ घेऊन मी हे सांगत आहे..बाळासाहेबांनी आम्हाला लढायला शिकवलंय..
मी शिवसेनेसाठी लढत राहीन.
"I gave full cooperation and answered all their questions. I will appear again if they call me," Raut had said last time after ED questioning. He said he was "fearless and undaunted" as he has "not done anything wrong in life".
The ED summons is linked to Mumbai's Patra Chawl redevelopment scam case. To recall, in April this year, the ED had attached immovable properties worth Rs. 11.15 crore, including a Dadar flat owned by Raut's wife Varsha, and eight land parcels at Kihim near Alibag, jointly owned by Varsha and Swapna Patkar. Swapna is the wife of Sujit Patkar, a close associate of Raut.
The ED had also attached property worth Rs. 9 crore related to Raut's close aide Pravin Raut previously. A chargesheet was also filed against Pravin. The ED investigation also revealed that around Rs. 100 crore was transferred from real estate company HDIL to Pravin's account. He then diverted part of these funds to different accounts of his family members, businesses, and close associates.
Last month the ED filed a chargesheet in the matter against Pravin and Sarang Wadhawan and Rakesh Wadhawan of HDIL and Guru Ashish Construction, among others. Pravin had allegedly paid Rs. 55 lakh to Varsha from his wife's account, which the ED termed as proceeds of crime. Pravin also allegedly bore Sena leader Raut's travel expenses, including his hotel stay and air tickets.