Sanjay Raut detained by ED after raid at his residence
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Sunday detained Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut in the Patra Chawl scam case. Earlier in the day, the ED officials raided Raut's Mumbai home in connection with a money laundering case. The ED is probing Raut's connection with suspected irregularities in the redevelopment of the Mumbai chawl. His wife and a few aides were also indicted in the case.
- Raut's arrest came after the ED issued multiple summonses.
- The ED crackdown on Raut—a Sena troubleshooter—is being seen by many as a political vendetta and conspiracy by the BJP.
- The development comes a month after Maharashtra's Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government was toppled and rebel leader Eknath Shinde was sworn in as the CM with the support of rebel Sena MLAs and the BJP.
Raut was previously summoned by the ED multiple times. On July 20, he skipped the summons and notified through his lawyers that owing to the ongoing Parliament monsoon session, he could only attend after August 7. He recorded his statement for the first time in the matter on July 1. In this case, the ED has already attached Raut's properties in Dadar and Alibag.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant stated that Raut had requested more time from the ED. "ED threatened people and asked them to take names," Sawant claimed. Following the ED raid, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray called it a "shameless conspiracy" and "brazen muzzling of voices." Earlier, Raut also tweeted denying his involvement in the scam.
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.
Previously, the ED had also attached property worth Rs. 9 crore related to Raut's close aide Pravin Raut. A charge sheet 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 allegedly diverted some funds to different accounts of his family members, businesses, and close associates.
Last month, the ED filed a charge sheet 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.