Patra Chawl scam: Raut's judicial custody extended by 14 days
A Mumbai court hearing the bail plea of Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) MP Sanjay Raut in a money laundering case reserved its judgment while extending his judicial remand for 14 days. The court stated it would try to pronounce its judgment on November 9. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested him in July in a Rs. 1,034 crore Patra Chawl land scam case.
Why does this story matter?
- The ED crackdown on Raut—a Sena troubleshooter—was seen by many as a political vendetta and conspiracy by the BJP.
- His arrest came a month after Maharashtra's Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government was toppled and rebel leader Eknath Shinde was sworn in as the CM with the support of rebel Sena MLAs and the BJP.
- He was arrested following a raid at his Mumbai home.
Deciding Pravin Raut's case first is important: Judge
The Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) Court also reserved its judgment on the bail plea of Raut's alleged aide and co-accused in the case, Pravin Raut. Special judge MG Deshpande said as per the case made by ED, money had been transferred from Pravin's account to Sanjay's, therefore it was important to decide on the former's bail plea first.
Raut had claimed money not unaccounted
After being arrested on July 31, Sanjay Raut spent eight days in ED's custody, following which he was sent to judicial custody. He appealed for bail on September 7 claiming that the ruling party used the ED to trample dissidents. He asserted that the amount of Rs. 1.06 crore which the ED claimed as proceeds of crime was legal and accounted for.
What is the Patra Chawl redevelopment scam?
Patra Chawl is another name for Siddharth Nagar. It's located in Goregaon, North Mumbai, and there are 672 houses on an area of 47 acres. The Maharashtra Housing and Region Development Authority (MHADA) began its reconstruction project in 2008, awarding the contract to Pravin Raut's company Guru Ashish Construction Pvt Ltd (GACPL) to rehabilitate 672 families and renovate the area.
What has the ED accused Raut of?
The ED claimed that Sanjay Raut's close aide Pravin Raut and other GACPL directors misled MHADA by fraudulently selling flats designated for 672 tenants. Following this, GACPL created a project named Meadows and accepted a booking amount of roughly Rs. 138 crore from flat purchasers, according to which the ED claims the business generated Rs. 1,034 crore from these illicit activities.